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Prague. Since the 1989 «Velvet Revolution» Prague has become one of the most popular tourist spots in Europe. Over the past decade, Prague has acquired many new hotels, and the old ones have been modernized. Most of them are located around Wenceslas Square, the city's central point, and Republiky Square. Accommodations are scarce during the season, beginning around Easter and ending in October. It's a good idea to obtain written confirmation of your booking during the season. The price includes the tax and service, but not always breakfast.
Warsaw. In recent years, the number of hotels in Warsaw has increased significantly. New luxury hotels have been built and many old ones have been modernized. It's a good idea to book a few weeks in advance, especially if you plan to go in June and July or between September and November, or during holidays. Warsaw's typical «businesspeople's hotels» are the Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Bristol, Mercure, Holiday Inn, Victoria and Jan HI Sobieski. With an original interior, the Secession-style Bristol Hotel is for the very well-off traveler. The prices include VAT and service, and sometimes breakfast.
lodging — размещение
essential — важно
existence — существование
significant — существенный
designate — определять
enterprise — предприятие
render — оказывать (помощь)
nourishment — питание
intend — намереваться
distinguish — отличать, выделять
room — номер
bell boy (lift boy) — носильщик
receptionist — регистратор
reception — регистрационный офис 3(4,5)
star hotel — 3-звездный отель
facilities — оборудование
resort — курорт
obtain — приобретать
assign — присваивать
demand — спрос, потребность
consistency — постоянство
unify — унифицировать
location — расположение
gracious — великолепный
to run — управлять
book a room — бронировать номер
VAT - НДС
suite — люкс
single room — одноместный номер
conference room — зал для совещаний
double room — двухместный номер
bar / buffet — бар/буфет
night club — ночной клуб
car rental desk — аренда автомобилей
swimming pool — бассейн
taxi service — заказ такси
money exchange — обмен валюты
travel agency — туристическое агентство
airline desk — авиакасса
hairdresser/barber — парикмахерская
sauna — сауна
fitness club — фитнес-клуб
solarium — солярий
casino — казино
souvenir shop — сувенирный магазин
parking — стоянка
What is E-Commerce?
There exists no exact definition of e-commerce. Generally it is described as any kind of business transaction where information is exchanged electronically.
To some people it means shopping at a website and buying products online, to other people it means just designing a web page in a way to increase the customers' interest. It does not necessarily describe a process of ordering and paying online.
Electronic trading, in which a supplier provides goods or services to a customer in return for payment is just one special case of electronic commerce. Other equally valid examples include internal transactions within a single company or provision of information to an external organization without any charge. E-commerce is concerned with attracting new customers and therefore it involves advertising, public relations and collecting information for and about customers.
It's not enough to get an online order for a product, it's also necessary to have this product and to deliver it to the customer. So e-commerce includes, besides of interacting with customers electronically, all the things a «normal» business would also need.
Categories of E-Commerce
There are categories of e-commerce:
— business-to-business (B2B)
— business-to-consumer (B2C)
An example in the business-to-business category would be a company that uses an electronic way for ordering from its suppliers, receiving invoices and making payments. The business-to-consumer category means selling things to consumers via the Internet. It is the most well-known form of e-commerce.
The business-to-administration category covers all transactions between companies and government organizations. The same category exists for consumers and administration, though it is rather seldom.
As the B2C category is the most popular one, we will talk about it.
Advantages of E-Commerce
The following list describes of what may be the main advantages of e-commerce:
— lower transaction costs (if an e-commerce site is organized well, you won't even need any office equipment — however, it is rather seldom)
— availability (people from everywhere and at any time of the day can visit your site, get information and put orders)
— large quantity of information (a company can build a very large catalogue with a lot of information on the web — just think of Amazon with it's 3 Mio. articles)
— providing «up-to-date» information (you can update your site quickly and make important information available in time)
— comparing prices and products
Disadvantages of E-Commerce
There are a lot of hard aspects about e-commerce as the recent failures in this branch show:
— making people to visit your site (getting traffic to come to your web site)
— how do you make yourself different from a (large) competition
— getting people to buy something at your site (people usually feel VERY uneasy about buying via the Internet)
— you still need money (capital) to maintain your system and provide an effective customer support
So e-commerce does not mean that you can make profits easier than in a «normal» business. You have to manage all the activities concerned with marketing, finance, distribution, purchase and public relations.
These problems are the most relevant ones as competition grows all the time and people still try to avoid buying online. Stories about hackers using your credit card number or even large companies making losses in trying themselves in e-commerce — all this makes people even more skeptical about buying anything online.
However, this problems are also common in the old economy. So there are a few other hard aspects about e-commerce:
— legality (concerning international e-commerce companies; business contracts are defined differently by law in every country)
— ownership (the copyright problem is a very big one)
— privacy and security
There were about 700.000 people who bought something via the Internet in Austria in the year 2000.
Regardless of the rather bad development of the technology stock markets during the past few months, the number of people using internet to purchase products is likely to rise even more this year.
If we turn to the practical side of the whole thing, what are the most relevant details about Building an E-Commerce Site First of all, you need what your:
— suppliers (this is not different from a normal company — without good suppliers and efficient ways of purchasing goods you cannot offer products)
— prices (as price comparisons are very easy on the Internet, you must have more competitive prices than the competition)
— customer relations (it means communicating with your (potential) customers efficiently — via e-mail, forums, chat-rooms, FAQ-pages, ...
— try to provide as much information as possible
Implementing an E-Commerce Site
Now you can step on to creating your site. Generally there are 3 possibilities how you can do this:
— enterprise computing (EC means that you have to purchase your own software and hardware and hire your own team of developers and supporters just to create and maintain your site — big firms which are very frequently visited by customers would usually do this).
— virtual hosting services (VHS means that all the facilities required (such as the necessary hard — and software, security, ...) is provided and maintained by another firm, for payment, of course. Usually it is a company specialized in providing VHS).
— simplified e-commerce (Here you just pay a company specialized in developing e-commerce systems to create a simple site for you. You must already have the necessary hard — and software. The basic functions of a simplified e-commerce system include displaying a product catalogue, allowing users to browse through it and allowing them to buy items from it).
Most of the B2C e-commerce companies use one of these systems. And there are too many who just implement the simplified solution and forget about offering online customer support and help and even keeping the site up-to-date.
A lack of customer support is only one of the reasons why e-commerce is in a crisis now.
Trends for the future
A recent study found out that most e-commerce website owners are generally optimistic. Three-quarters say their online market is expanding, while two-thirds say their ability to attract new customers is improving. Half of those polled say they are also seeing increased loyalty from past customers. So, as the customers get used to e-commerce, it becomes more popular. It may not replace the common way to buy and sell products but for most companies it offers new ways to reach their customers.
Benefits of E-Commerce
* lower transaction costs
* large quantity of information
* providing «up-to-date» information
* comparison of prices and products
Disadvantages of E-Commerce
* hard to make yourself «visible»
* hard to differ from competition
* hard to make people buy something
* privacy and security
definition — определение
transaction — перевод
design — дизайн, разработка
involve — вовлекать
interact — взаимодействовать
supplier — поставщик
invoice — накладная, счет-фактура
payment — платеж consumer — потребитель
equipment — оборудование
failure — провал
branch — отрасль, ветвь, отделение
maintain — поддерживать, сохранять
competition — конкуренция
purchase — покупать
competitive — конкурентоспособный
solution — решение
via — через, посредством
Money is used for buying or selling goods, for measuring value and for storing wealth.
Almost every society now has a money economy based on coins and paper notes of one kind or another. However, this has not always been true. In primitive societies a system of barter was used. Barter was a system of direct exchange of goods. Somebody could exchange a sheep, for example, for anything in the market place that they considered to be equal value. Barter however was a very unsatisfactory system because people's precise needs seldom coincided. People needed a more practical system of exchange, and various money systems developed based on goods, which the members of a society recognized as having a value. Cattle, grain, teeth, shells, features, skulls, salt, elephant tusks and tobacco have all been used. Precious metals gradually took over because, when made into coins, they were portable, durable, recognizable, and divisible into larger and smaller units of value.
A coin is a piece of metal, usually disc-shaped, which bears lettering, designs or numbers showing its value. Until the 18th and 19th centuries coins were given monetary worth based on the exact amount of metal contained in them, but most modern coins are based on face value, the value the governments choose to give them, irrespective of the actual metal content. Coins have been made of gold (Au), silver (Ag), copper (Cu), aluminum (Al), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), plastic and in China even from pressed tea leaves. Most governments now issue paper money in the form of notes, which are «promises to pay». Paper money is obviously easier to handle and much more convenient in the modern world. Checks, bankers, credit cards are being used increasingly and it is possibly to imagine a world where «money» in the form of coins and paper currently will no longer be used. Even today, in the US many places - especially filling stations - will not accept cash at night for security reasons.
Metallic Money and Coinage
Throughout history several metals were used as commodity moneys, including iron and copper. More important, however were the precious metals-silver and gold-which have always been held in high regard. The division of commodity money into units was often quite natural, as in a bushel of corn or a head of cattle. When rock salt was used as money, it was cut into uniform bricks. Since salt was usually of consistent quality, a trader needed only to count the bricks to determine the amount of money. With precious metals however, both the quantity and quality became open to question' Because precious metals could be debased with cheaper alloys, the quantity and quality of the metal had to be ascertained with each exchange. This quality-control problem was addressed by coinage Coinage, when fully developed, determined both the amount of metal and the quality of the metal. The use of coins allowed payment by count rather than by weight. Initially, coins were stamped only on one side, but undetectable amounts of the metal could be «shaved» from the smooth side of the coin. To prevent shaving, coins were stamped on both sides. But another problem arose. Because the borders of coins remained blank, small amounts of the metal could be «clipped» from the edges. To prevent this, coins were bordered with a well-defined rim and were milled around the edges. If you have a dime or quarter, notice the tiny serrations on the edge plus the words along the border. These features, throwbacks from the time when these coins were silver rather than a cheap alloy, prevented the recipient from «getting clipped.»
The power to coin money was viewed as an act of sovereignty and counterfeiting, an act of treason. In England the king extended his sovereignty only to silver and gold coins. When the face value of the coin exceeds the cost of coinage, the minting of coins becomes a source of revenue to the sovereign. Seigniorage refers to the amount of precious metal extracted by the sovereign, or the seignior, during coinage. Debasement of the currency represented a source of profit for profligate governments. Token money is the name given to coins whose face value exceeds their metallic value.
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