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Use and Impact of Online Travel Reviews


Abstract and Figures

Consumer-generated content (CGC) is growing in importance. Especially online travel reviews written by consumers are ever more available and used to inform travel-related decisions. A Web-based survey of users of the most prominent travel review site, TripAdvisor, was conducted to investigate how other travellers’ reviews inform the trip planning process. Since current CGC statistics show generational and gender differences, the study also aimed at examining whether those carry over into the realm of travel review use. The results show that reviews are used mostly to inform accommodation decisions and are currently not used much for en route travel planning. Gender differences were found for perceived impacts of reviews, with females reaping greater benefits from using reviews, especially in terms of enjoyment and idea generation. Age differences occurred across a variety of perceptions and use behaviours. Implications for travel marketing and travel information systems design are provided.
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Use and Impact of Online Travel Reviews
Ulrike Gretzel
Kyung Hyan Yoo
Laboratory for Intelligent Systems in Tourism
Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences
Texas A&M University, USA
Consumer-generated content (CGC) is growing in importance. Especially online travel reviews
written by consumers are ever more available and used to inform travel-related decisions. A
Web-based survey of users of the most prominent travel review site, TripAdvisor, was
conducted to investigate how other travellers' reviews inform the trip planning process. Since
current CGC statistics show generational and gender differences, the study also aimed at
examining whether those carry over into the realm of travel review use. The results show that
reviews are used mostly to inform accommodation decisions and are currently not used much
for en route travel planning. Gender differences were found for perceived impacts of reviews,
with females reaping greater benefits from using reviews, especially in terms of enjoyment and
idea generation. Age differences occurred across a variety of perceptions and use behaviours.
Implications for travel marketing and travel information systems design are provided.
Keywords: online travel reviews; consumer generated content; trip planning; age differences;
gender differences.
1 Introduction
Through the Internet, individuals can make their thoughts and opinions easily
available to a global community of Internet users (Dellarocas, 2003), and a growing
number of users actively takes advantage of this opportunity. A total of 35 percent of
US Internet users publish their thoughts or otherwise create content online (Pew
Internet & American Life Project, 2006a). Even more Internet users use consumer-
generated content (CGC). According to eMarketer (2007a), about 75.2 million online
users use CGC today in the US, and this number is expected to grow to 101 million by
Searching for travel-related information is one of the most popular online activities
(Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2006b) and travellers are expected to
increasingly take advantage of such content. Indeed, a growing use of online travel
referrals for the purpose of planning travel has been reported by several travel-related
studies (Bonn, Furr & Susskind, 1999; MacKay, McVetty & Vogt, 2005). Further,
such electronic word of mouth (eWOM) can even have a significant influence on
travel-related decisions after they have been made. eMarketer (2007b) reports that
among travellers who use peer reviews for their hotel booking, 25% of infrequent
leisure travellers and 33% of frequent travellers report having changed a hotel stay
based on reviews by other consumers.
However, little is known about the specific relevance of eWOM in different stages of
travel planning and for specific types of travel-related decisions. Consequently, a
study was conducted to investigate how eWOM sources, specifically online reviews
provided by other travellers, are used for the various facets of travel planning.
2 Background
2.1 Use of Word of Mouth in Travel Planning
Word of mouth (WOM) communication refers to interpersonal communication among
consumers concerning their personal experiences with a firm or a product (Richins,
Previous studies illustrate the significance of WOM for consumers' purchase
decisions (Bone, 1995; Brown & Reingen, 1987; Engel, Blackwell & Kegerreis,
Amdt, 1967), especially within a service context (Murray, 1991; Murray &
Schlacter, 1990). Because service products are intangible and cannot be easily
described, consumers tend to rely on word of mouth from an experienced source to
lower perceived risk and uncertainty (Bansal & Voyer, 2000; Murray, 1991;
Olshavsky & Granbois, 1979).
Word-of-mouth information search is greater in circumstances when a consumer is
unfamiliar with a service provider (Chatterjee, 2001), which is often the case for
travel-related decisions. WOM has long been recognized as one of the important
external information sources for travel planning (Crotts, 1999; Murphy, Moscardo &
Benckendorff, 2007; Hwang et al., 2006; Kotler, Bowen & Makens, 2006; Snepenger
& Snepenger, 1993; Fodness & Murray, 1997). Hanlan and Kelly (2005) found that
word of mouth and independent information sources are the key media through which
respondents formed their image of an iconic Australian tourist destination. As the use
of the Internet for travel planning becomes ever more prevalent, travel decision-
making processes are expected to become increasingly influenced by eWOM. Online
word-of-mouth differs significantly from its offline form in that it includes many-to-
many communication between communicators who do not necessarily share any
social ties and that it is much more voluminous (Chatterjee, 2001). Consumer
opinion-platforms have established themselves as important venues for eWOM
(Hennig-Thurau et al., 2004).
2.2 Consumer Reviews
Consumer-generated content encompasses a variety of media forms and types of Web
sites (Gretzel, 2006). One form in which content is created online is as consumer
reviews and ratings. Consumer reviews and ratings are the most accessible and
prevalent form of eWOM (Chatterjee, 2001). Over 30 percent of Internet users have
rated products online (Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2006a). Forrester
(2006a) reports that about 70 percent of
currently use consumer product ratings
and reviews. Consumer reviews serve two distinct roles: 1) they provide information
about products and services; and, 2) they serve as recommendations (Park, Lee &
Han, 2007). Consumer reviews are perceived as particularly influential because they
are written from a consumer's perspective and, thus, provide an opportunity for
indirect experience (Bickart & Schindler, 2001). They are also perceived as more
credible than information provided by marketers (Smith, Menon & Sivakumar, 2005).
Online consumer reviews appear to play an increasing role in consumer decision-
making processes. More than 80% of web shoppers said they use other consumers'
reviews when making purchasing decisions (Forrester, 2006b). eMarketer (2007c)
reports that nearly six out of ten consumers prefer Web sites with peer-written
reviews, and that Web sites with reviews experience greater conversion rates. A study
conducted by Bazaarvoice (2007) indicates that for about 75% of US shoppers it is
extremely or very important to read customer reviews before making a purchase. The
sample also shows a clear preference for peer reviews over expert reviews. Smith, et
(2005) also found that recommendations provided by online peers are preferred
over editorial recommendations.
Consumers tend to rely more on consumer reviews when purchasing high
involvement products (Park, Kim & Han, 2007); since travel is a high involvement
product, one can expect extensive use of reviews for travel-related decisions. Indeed,
Compete, Inc (2006) found that nearly 50% of travel purchasers visited a message
board, forum, or online community for their online travel purchasing and one in three
of these buyers said that consumer reviews helped with their purchase decision.
Importantly, almost half of those whose purchasing decision was influenced by
consumer reviews said that consumers' opinions actually caused them to change their
mind about what they purchased. Moreover, among those buyers, 25%) said they also
posted a review on a consumer review site after making their
Clearly, online
consumer-generated information is taking on an important role in online travelers'
decision making.
2.3 Travel Planning and Decision Making
Planning a trip involves a "temporal, dynamic, successive, and multistage contingent
decision process" (Jeng & Fesenmaier, 2002:15). Information needs and information
search strategies can be assumed to vary for different stages in the travel decision-
making process (Gretzel, Fesenmaier & O'Leary, 2006). Also, travel planning
involves a multitude of facets for which decisions need to be made. Extent of planning
and timing of
decision differs for these various facets (Fesenmaier & Jeng, 2000).
While past research has extensively looked at factors influencing information source
use (Gursoy & McCleary, 2004), little is known about the role of specific sources in
particular planning stages and with respect to particular sub-decisions. Consequently,
it was the goal of this study to investigate the importance of consumer reviews in
different stages of planning and for different trip facets to be planned.
2.4 Age and Gender Differences
Gender differences have been found for Web usage in general (Sanchez-Franco,
2006) and online travel information search in particular (Kim, Lehto & Morrison,
Research also suggests that women are more likely to engage in WOM
behavior, and female Internet users have been found to be more likely influenced by
recommendations received from friends than marketer-based information (eMarketer,
2007d). Further, differences exist for different age groups. Young consumers
(millennials or Generation Y) are more likely to be influenced by WOM, with 85
percent of them indicating that they primarily learned about new products through
WOM (eMarketer, 2007e). In general, WOM conversations are more likely to happen
online for Generation Y consumers (eMarketer, 2007f). Differences in the use of
information sources driven by age have also been reported in the tourism literature.
For instance, Fodness & Murray (1997) as well as Fall & Knutson (2001) and
Patterson (2007) report that WOM is particularly important for older travellers. Thus,
it appears that use of consumer reviews for travel planning and the impact of such
reviews on travel-related decisions might differ for travellers based on their gender
and age.
3 Methodology
Currently, a number of travel-related CGC sites are available such as,, and Among those CGC
TripAdvisor is the most prominent online travel review platform in terms of
and content available. As of September 1, 2007, it featured over 10 million travel
reviews and over 750,000 photos posted by travelers (, 2007). It
attracts over 24 million visitors a month and has over
million registered
a Web-based survey in collaboration with was administered during a
4 week period between January 5 and January
2007. The sample was drawn from
the TripAdvisor traveller panel. This panel is maintained by and
includes TripAdvisor users mostly from the US but also Canada, the UK and
Australia. Consumers who work in or live with someone who works in market
research, advertising, marketing, media/news, or public relations are excluded from
participation in the panel. Also, the sample used for the study included only
consumers who had taken pleasure trips in the previous year and/or anticipated taking
pleasure trips the following year. A drawing for one of two $100 gift
certificates was used as an incentive. A total of 7000 randomly selected panellists
received an email invitation to complete the Web-based survey and 1480 actually
participated, resulting in a
percent response rate.
Since the goal of the study presented in this paper was to investigate when and how
other travellers' reviews are used in the trip planning process and what the perceived
benefits of those reviews are, the survey included 29 questions regarding trip
planning, use and impact of online travel reviews and general Internet use behaviour
questions as well as questions regarding demographic characteristics. All questions
regarding reviews referred to travel reviews written by consumers rather than travel
experts. The results presented in the paper were obtained using descriptive analyses of
the data, while age and gender differences were analyzed using Chi-Square statistics.
4 Results
4.1 Profile of Sample
More females (64%) than males (36%) completed the survey. Most respondents
(79%) reported being married or living with a partner. A majority of respondents
(78.5%) reported having children under 17 living in their household. The largest age
group was comprised of those who are between 50 and 64 years old (42.8%)). Only
2.2 percent are between 18 and 25 years old, 14.4 percent between 26 and 34 years,
34.1 percent between 35 and 49 years and 6.5 percent 65 years or older. Over 69
percent have a college or post graduate degree. The majority (52.2%) has an annual
household income of $90,000 or greater. These results were compared to the
characteristics of the overall panel membership and no differences were found.
About 26 percent report having taken 1-2 pleasure trips and 38 percent report having
taken 3-4 pleasure trips in the 12 months prior to the survey, while 36 percent took 5
trips or more. Almost 45 percent of the survey respondents typically begin their trip
planning four or more months in advance. Nearly 30 percent plan 2-4 months in
advance, about 20 percent plan 3-8 weeks in advance. About 4 percent plan 1-3
weeks in advance, just over 1 percent plan 1-6 days in advance, and only 0.4 percent
plan during their trips.
Since the sample consists of TripAdvisor users, the respondents are clearly more
inclined to use the Internet than a general population of travellers. Over 84 percent
report that they are very skilled at using the Internet. Almost all (96.4%)) use the
Internet when planning pleasure trips. They are also frequent users of the Internet for
travel planning. Over 82 percent use the Internet always and 13.5 percent use it often
to plan at least some aspects of a pleasure trip. Of those who use the Internet to plan
pleasure trips, 90 percent look at materials posted by consumers when planning
pleasure trips, 64.2 percent read travel-related blogs, 27.7 percent watch videos online
and only 6.6 percent listen to travel-related audio files/podcasts in the travel planning
4.2 Perceptions and Use of Online Travel Reviews
Not surprisingly, given the characteristics of the sample, 97.7 percent of the
respondents who use the Internet for travel planning say they have read other
travellers' reviews in the process of planning a pleasure trip. Of those who read other
travellers' reviews, 57.8 percent do so every time they plan a pleasure trip while 26.1
percent read them very often. Over 10 percent read reviews frequently, 5.3 percent
regularly, and only 0.2 percent rarely.
Most online review readers look for other travellers' reviews on virtual community
sites (92.3%), followed by travel guidebook sites (60.6%), online travel
agency/auction sites (58.1%) and search engines or portals (51.5%). Not so many
(44.6%) look for reviews on local destination Web sites and state tourism Web sites
Only 27.9 percent look for reviews on company sites and 13.4 percent on
meta-travel search engines.
Online travel review readers use reviews to inform different stages of their pleasure
trip planning. Most (64.7%) use other travellers' reviews in the middle of the
planning process, to narrow down choices. But many also use reviews to get inspired
at the beginning of their pleasure trip planning process (63.7%). Other travellers'
online reviews are also important in later stages to confirm decisions. Almost 41
percent of travel review readers use them in this stage. Interestingly, for almost a
third (29.5%) of the travel review readers, reviews are also important in the post-
consumption phase to compare notes with others and share experiences. Only 8.7
percent use reviews to inform decisions during a trip.
Figure 1. Importance of Travel Reviews for Travel-Related Decisions
Travel review readers perceive reviews posted by other consumers as having several
advantages over information from travel service providers. Almost two thirds
(65.3%) of the review readers think other travellers' reviews are more likely to
contain up-to-date information, enjoyable information (61.2%) and reliable
information (61.1%). Over half of the respondents perceive them also as more likely
to contain detailed information (57.4%) and relevant information (53.6%).
Most Trip Advisor users (77.9%) who actively read other travellers' reviews in their
pleasure trip planning process think that reviews are extremely or very important to
decide where to stay. About a third think that reviews are important for restaurant
decisions (33.6%) and activity decisions (32.5%)). Not so many review readers
consider reviews to be important for destination-related decisions (27.0%) or the
timing of trips (26.6%)) (see Figure 1).
4.3 Influence of Online Travel Reviews
Survey respondents were further asked to indicate in what ways the reviews posted by
other travellers influenced their travel planning. The results are presented in Table 1.
Almost all review readers think that reviews are a good way to learn about travel
destinations and products (94.6%)), help with the evaluation of alternatives (91.9%o),
help them avoid places/services they would not enjoy (91.8%)) and provide them with
ideas (90.3%).
A clear majority of the review readers also thinks that reviews increase confidence
and help reduce risk by making it easier to imagine what a place will be like.
Reviews are also perceived as helping with making the decision process more
efficient in that they make decisions easier because they reduce the likelihood of later
regretting a decision. Although less prominent than the other areas of influence,
reading travel reviews also makes the planning process more enjoyable. However,
not so many respondents think that reading reviews saves them time.
4.4 Gender Differences
Despite the gender differences reported in general CGC use, the analyses did not
show any significant differences in terms of use except for the use of online travel
agency sites to find reviews and for the perception of reviews in terms of providing
detailed information. More females (60.8%) than males (53.5%) look for travel
reviews on online travel agency sites (x'^=7.15; p<0.01). Slightly more females
(59.1%) than males (54.3%) think other travellers* reviews are more likely to contain
detailed information (x^=6.53; p<0.05).
However, gender differences were found for the impact of travel reviews on different
aspects of decision-making. Females (83.4%) are more likely than males (77.9%o) to
agree or strongly agree that other travellers' reviews make it easier to reach decisions
(X^=18.10; p<0.01). They are also slightly more likely to think that reviews help them
save time (69.6% compared to 65.2%; x^=14.65; p<0.01). Females (83.3%)) are
slightly more likely than males (80.7%) to agree or strongly agree that reviews reduce
risk/uncertainty (x^=
p<0.01). Females are also more likely to perceive hedonic
value; 81.9 percent (compared to 67.5%o males) think reviews make them feel more
excited about travelling (x^=56.75; p<0.01) and 80 percent (compared to 70.3%) for
males) think they add fun to the travel planning process (%^=31.58; p<0.01).
Table 1. Influence of Other Travellers' Reviews
% of Travel Review
Other Travellers' Reviews... Readers Who Strongly
Agree or Agree
Are a good way to learn about a travel destination, product or
service 94.6
Help me evaluate alternatives 91.9
Help me avoid places/services I would not enjoy 91.8
Provide me with ideas 90.3
Increase my confidence in the decisions I make 86.6
Make it easier to imagine what a place will be like 85.3
Reduce the risk/uncertainty involved in making travel decisions 82.4
Make it easier to reach decisions 81.3
Help me plan my trips more efficiently 80.2
Reduce the likelihood that I will later regret a decision 77.6
Make travel planning more enjoyable 77.4
Make me feel excited about travelling 76.8
Add fiin to the travel planning process 76.5
Help me save time in the travel planning process 68.0
Help me imagine my trips more vividly 67.4
Differences occur also for impacts regarding imagination and inspiration. Females
(71.7%) are clearly more likely than males (57.6%) to think that reviews help them
imagine trips more vividly (x^=34.85; p<0.01). More females (86.5%) than males
(83.2%) indicate that reviews make it easier to imagine what a place will be like
p<0.01). Small differences were also found for idea generation and
learning; 91.1 percent of females and 88.8 percent of males see reviews as providing
travel ideas (x^=15.17; p<0.01) and 95.1 percent of females compared to 93.7 percent
of males think reviews are a good way to learn about a place (x^=30.18; p<0.01).
4.5 Age Differences
Several interesting differences regarding use and perceptions of reviews were found
for different age groups. For instance, those 65 years or older are less likely to have
read other travellers' reviews
p<0.01). Older respondents are also less
likely to use reviews every time they plan a pleasure trip (32.2% compared to 63.3%
for those between 18 and 34 years of age; x^=45.06; p<0.01). Younger travel review
readers are more likely to use reviews in the middle of the trip planning process to
narrow dovm alternatives (80% of 18-25 year olds compared to 55.2% of those 65 or
p<0.01). Very young travellers (18-25 years) are also clearly more
likely to use reviews during their trips
compared to 8% of those 65 or over;
Older travel review readers are more likely to look for reviews on company sites
compared to 23.3% of those between 18 and 25; x^=15.92; p<0.01). The 65
years and older group is also the most likely to use search engines to look for travel
reviews (58.6% compared to 47.2% of those between 35 and 49; x^=10.13; p<0.05).
In addition, older travel review readers are more likely to look for reviews on state
tourism sites (41.4% compared to 13.3% of those between 18 and 25; x^=
p<0.01). The same pattern can be seen for local destination Web sites
those 65 and older vs. 40% of those between 18 and 25 years old; x^=12.79; p<0.01).
In contrast, younger readers are clearly more likely to look for reviews on virtual
community sites (96.7% of those between 18 and 25 in contrast to 86.2%) of those 65
or older;
Younger travellers find reviews more important for deciding where to stay (90%
compared to 60.9%) for those 65 or older;
p<0.01). Older review readers are
more likely to find reviews unimportant for deciding when to go (47.1%) compared to
for those between 18 and
p<0.01). Also, those 65 years of
older are less likely to believe that reviews provide more up-to-date (x^=
p<0.01), detailed
p<0.01) and reUable (x^=29.09; p<0.01) information.
Reviews are more likely to increase confidence for younger review readers (86.7%
compared to 72.4%) of those 65 and older; x^=58.66; p<0.01). The same pattern was
found for risk reduction; while 86.6%) of those between 18 and 25 agreed or strongly
agreed that reviews reduced uncertainty, this was the case for only 74.7% of
years of age or older
p<0.01). Younger review readers also experience
more excitement from reviews (86.7%) compared to 76.8%) for those 65 or older;
5 Conclusion
The survey results provide interesting insights regarding online travel review readers.
They are highly educated, have high incomes, travel rather frequently, use the Internet
extensively and plan in advance. Thus, travel review readers, and specifically
TripAdvisor users, appear to be a very important target market for travel marketers.
The study results also confirm that travel review readers perceive reviews posted by
other consumers as superior to marketer information, especially as far as being up-to-
reliability and enjoyability are concerned. Importantly, those who read other
travellers' reviews do so frequently and mostly on virtual community and travel
guidebook sites. This indicates that partnerships with virtual community and travel
content providers are important for destination marketers.
The findings clearly show differences in the use of online reviews for different trip
planning stages and trip facets. Travel reviews are not only used in the decisive stages
planning to narrow down choices but also for idea generation. However, they
are clearly underused for en route decision-making. Thus, making other travellers'
reviews more accessible through mobile applications seems to be an important goal.
most review readers currently perceive reviews as important for accommodation
decisions. This is not surprising as most reviews are encouraged for hotels and other
accommodation establishments. One can expect that the perceived usefulness for
other decisions would increase if more reviews were available for those aspects. It is
fairly easy to encourage accommodation reviews as most travellers have to provide an
email address when booking a room online. Hotels as well as online travel agencies
typically send an email to travellers after their stay, asking them to provide a review.
Different models to provide incentives for destination-, restaurant-, activities- and
timing-related reviews are needed.
The results further suggest that travel reviews play an important role in the trip
planning process for those who actively read them. They provide ideas, make
decisions easier, add fun to the planning process and increase confidence by reducing
risk and making it easier to imagine what places will be like. Especially female travel
planners seem to benefit greatly from the use of travel reviews. While gender
differences were almost exclusively found for impacts on the trip planning process,
generational differences occurred across a variety of perceptions and use behaviours.
These results confirm the importance of considering demographic variables when
modelling information search behaviour.
These conclusions are not only important for travel marketers and researchers but also
for system designers. Given the importance and many positive benefits of travel
reviews for travel planners, systems have to be designed in a way to not only make
travel reviews ubiquitously available but also to make it easy for travellers to provide
reviews. Also, rather than sitting on specialized sites, reviews should be seamlessly
integrated with other content such as maps and videos to make travel planning more
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... This is because the "technical sub-system empowers users to transform inputs to outputs, and complete certain activities using several tools and technologies" . It enables tourists to be content creators when they share information (Liang et al., 2011) through online reviews (Gretzel and Yoo, 2008). Additionally, social commerce offers a collaborative platform that enhances the quality of the interactions and relationship within the system (Liang et al., 2011;Wang and Yu, 2017). ...
... Literature also identified relationship quality and social support as important drivers influencing participation, engagement (Esmaeili et al., 2020;Gretzel and Yoo, 2008) and purchase intention (Liang et al., 2011). With the ubiquitous of social media technologies, tourists are now able to share more information concerning their tourism experiences (Gensler et al., 2013;Rather, 2021b;Woyo and Nyamapanda, 2022). ...
... With the ubiquitous of social media technologies, tourists are now able to share more information concerning their tourism experiences (Gensler et al., 2013;Rather, 2021b;Woyo and Nyamapanda, 2022). The information has potential to influence destination choice (Gretzel and Yoo, 2008) and several aspects of travel behaviour. Based on this, enhancing tourist-to-business relations for enhanced value co-creation and destination brand equity becomes key. ...
Purpose Widespread technology adoption in tourism enables tourists to be active content creators, thus, influencing destination brands through co-creation. This study examines value co-creation, social commerce information sharing, and destination brand equity. Design/methodology/approach A quantitative approach was applied to analyse data collected from a global online survey. Hypotheses were tested using PLS-SEM analysis. Findings Results show that destination brand equity is positively influenced by value co-creation. Additionally, social commerce information sharing mediates the relationship between value co-creation and destination brand equity. Practical implications The article adds new insights to tourism marketing by investigating value co-creation, social commerce information sharing and destination brand equity. It also offers interesting implications for destination managers to improve Vietnam as a destination brand. Originality/value This paper is among the first to test the mediating role of social commerce on value co-creation and destination brand equity.
... Several websites post such reviews: TripAdvisor, Expedia, Agoda, and, for example, all of which provide a variety of information customers can consider before deciding on their best options (Aksoy and Ozbuk, 2017). Positive reviews from customers related to the hotel location, price, rating, and environmental quality are likely to increase booking numbers, while negative reviews will have the reverse effect (Gretzel and Yoo, 2008). ...
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This paper empirically analyzes the effect of the environment on hotel customer satisfaction in Southeast Asian countries, as reflected in reviews on online booking sites. The logistic regression method is applied to extract the estimations. The empirical outcomes reveal that the environment can significantly influence customer satisfaction, which means tourists are likely to maximize their satisfaction by choosing destinations that provide a good environment. In addition, room price, hotel location, and service quality can also increase customer satisfaction. Web-based customer reviews potentially affect the booking decisions of future tourists, who carefully evaluate reviewers’ comments when making decisions about accommodation. Hotel authorities in Southeast Asian countries can improve hotel service by adopting renewable energy resources, which may in turn increase the booking interest. Furthermore, customer feedback is an essential factor, and hotel authorities can improve hotel services by considering reviewers’ comments.
... Hotel companies are perhaps the most influenced by eWOM (Cantallops and Salvi, 2014) because of the establishment and growth of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like and In such a context, ORs represent a unique source of information for prospective buyers of hotel services whose quality is frequently unknown before consumption and generally challenging to evaluate before purchase and consumption (Gretzel and Yoo, 2008). More in detail, in the context of this study, a DMU is a hotel for which a customer pays a certain amount of money (price) to receive a set of services of different value. ...
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This work introduces, develops, and empirically applies an innovative approach aimed at assessing selling prices based on the value perceived by the customers, as measured by electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) in the guise of online reviews. To achieve this aim, it applies a constant return to scale Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach where the price is the input, and the value attributes are the outputs measured through eWOM in the form of online reviews. We empirically apply the model to the hotel sector by considering both the prices and the service attributes (i.e., staff, location, cleanliness, comfort, facilities and free wi-fi) of 364 hotels based in two leading Italian tourism destinations: Milan and Rome. Our findings suggest that online review analytics can be suitably embedded into analytical models to assess prices. The index developed innovatively supports value-based pricing by means of online review analytics and it is easy-to-perform, and parsimonious as it is based on widely available information on the Internet.
... It is clear that the reputations of tourism destinations have a direct influence on the purchase of tourism services as well as on how visitors approach and experience a destination and, consequently, how they develop a process of involvement and trust, which are keys to success for businesses of any size and location [26][27][28]. Hence, to understand the impact of reputation on visitors' opinions, the new research field of sentiment analysis emerged during the last decade. ...
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Interest in measuring the sustainability of tourism has been significantly advancing in recent years, together with the need to manage the impact of tourism on territories and hosting communities. This interest was further boosted by the pandemic, with sustainability being identified as one of the central elements in restarting global tourism. The European Tourism Indicator System (ETIS), developed by the European Commission, is a point of reference based on self-assessment, data collection, and analysis by tourist destinations themselves. The application of the ETIS toolkit has faced many challenges, especially at the subnational level, most of which are related to the lack of available and updated data to feed into the model. In this article, we explore the implementation issues, develop a synthetic indicator based on the use of the sentiment analysis technique to frame e-reputation and tourism satisfaction, and combine that analysis with other open data sources. The Tourism Sustainability Index (TSI) can provide a scalable and geo-referenced evaluation of tourism sustainability, measured according the ETIS criteria and complementing them. The TSI, its pillars and sub-components are all applicable to any tourism destination. The results show that the TSI can be a consistent and valid tool for tourist destinations to use in analyzing sustainability, monitoring the evolution of sustainability through time periods and subareas, and comparing the findings with those of other benchmarks and/or other competitive areas.
Star ratings on P2P accommodation platforms are highly positive. Such biases have led many users to utilise selective processing strategies to evaluate the textual content of online reviews. However, when many reviews are available for a product or a service, these strategies would be suboptimal at best, posing several challenges to the users of peer-to-peer (P2P) accommodation platforms. To enable the guests to perform more informed evaluations and overcome the challenges that the skewed distribution of star ratings creates for decision-making, we employ content analysis tools to derive an aggregated sentiment score for each listing. Using this score, we define a new measure, called “sentiment rating”, that compares a listing with other similar listings based on their textual reviews. Our choice-based conjoint experiment suggests that unlike users’ initial perception about the function of star rating as the most salient factor in evaluating P2P listings, users actually attribute more importance to sentiment ratings of P2P accommodations. Therefore, a text-based summary of online reviews would indeed help users in evaluating alternatives on a P2P platform and in decision making. We argue that a text-based quantitative summary of user reviews could be a useful supplements to (or substitutes for) star ratings on P2P accommodation platforms and even online retailing websites.
Online reviews play a significant role in supporting consumers to make purchase decisions across provided platforms. Many studies examine the characteristics of online reviews and their impacts, nevertheless, only a few studies examine the perceived value from online reviews. This study provides the integration view by utilizing the systematic approach to synthesize 36 academic papers out of 661 searched papers between January 1st, 2011, and December 22nd, 2019. The contribution of researchers in studying the perceived value is increasing significantly and continuously since 2018. There are two main types of online reviews regardless of online platforms: Expert-written reviews and customer-written reviews. Perceived values can be derived from online review and be transmitted to online review simultaneously upon the content of studies. The framing of questions for a review focus on five key questions and to illustrate by providing the mind mapping of perceived value to reveal components and relationship among them. The finding emphasizes the research contents of existing research and research allocation, analysis of techniques used, theories, methodologies used, implications in different industrial sectors to enhance the understanding of this relevant information, ambiguous meanings, and development of areas that lack attention in the past decade. Besides, the indication of studies could identify the importance of perceived values that has a greater impact on consumers in the pre-stage of purchase decision.
With social media becoming the centre of electronic commerce today and reaching substantial market shares, many business models have emerged; influencer marketing has recently attracted attention. The important thing here is not to reach more people but to reach the right people by using the right influencers. To get the right people, it is necessary to analyse social media users correctly as well as to know the influencers. This study aims to determine the demographic profiles of their followers according to the gender of the influencer that the companies are operating in a social media collaboration. In this study, where research was conducted for the influencers that Instagram users follow from their accounts, clustering analysis was made, and consumer profiles were determined. The data obtained from 483 participants were analysed by keeping the source credibility theory in the foreground. According to the results of the research, female social media users, while female influencers attach importance to their expertise in the product they promote, it has been seen that the perception of male influencers about their expertise is low. In general, consumers with similar characteristics attach more importance to reliability and attractiveness features in female influencers than to male influencers is another result obtained by the research. This study explains the thoughts of people who use social media about expertise, attractiveness, and trust according to the gender of the influencers they follow from their Instagram accounts. The results suggest companies that want to use influencers in product promotions and researchers who wish to study influencer marketing.
Digital technology, broadly defined as all the electronic tools, automatic systems, technological devices, and resources that generate, process, or store information in the form of binary code (Shah, Nogueras, Van Woerden, & Kiparoglou, 2019), has brought great changes to almost all aspects of human life. In particular, the development and the application of various digital technologies have great potential to facilitate successful aging by helping individuals effectively cope with different forms of age-related challenges, though an organizing framework is lacking from the literature. In this paper, we derive a taxonomy for understanding the impacts of digital technology on successful aging by considering the intersections between digital technology types and the age-related applied settings. Based on this taxonomy, we map different types of digital technology to different functions and successful aging outcomes in both non-work and work domains. We also discuss the implications of our taxonomy to research inquiries and practical applications.
This paper explores the motivations and priorities of Chinese Millennials' use of social media with regard to the sharing of content. A commercially important demographic, this group are highly active on social media. The amount of content that is shared online is immense. Some shared content “goes viral” and can be seen by vast numbers of users. The findings of this study are based on the results of over 650 online surveys and include both theoretical and practical contributions to the body of knowledge regarding the nature of viral propagation of content in Chinese social media. This contribution to the understanding and insight social media activities of this significant and commercially consumer demographic may be of value to online promoters and marketers as well those interested in the use of social media for commercial purposes in the design and management of their online and social media presence, marketing, and advertising strategies.
This paper aims to investigate the relationships between electronic word of mouth (eWOM), destination image, and visit intention among Southeast Asian solo female travelers towards India as a tourist destination. The hypotheses were drawn from a literature review and were tested through structural equation modeling based on the data of 301 online respondents. The findings reveal a significant direct relationship between these constructs, except for the relationship between perceived risk and visit intention. This paper contributes to the emerging Asian solo female travel research by analyzing the relationship between these critical factors and integrating them with the travel behavior process.
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Consumers see many brands during the course of a day but often pay very little attention to how such exposures will influence their subsequent decisions. This research examines how being exposed to multiple brands at once affects consumers' reactions to these brands, particularly when little effort is exerted in processing this information. Focusing on the role of brand personalities, we argue that when a focal brand is seen with a brand that has a dissimilar personality, it will seem more distinctive and thus garner more positive consumer reactions than if it is seen with a brand that has a similar personality. The first two experiments provide support for the positive impact of dissimilar brand personalities under low-elaboration settings. The last two experiments examine the process that leads to stronger preferences for the focal brand and suggest that enhanced distinctiveness benefits the focal brand by differentiating it from similar competitors.
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In an attempt to create a behavioral profile of pleasure travelers segmented based on Internet use, 5,319 pleasure travelers were interviewed. Initially, the respondents were classified as an Internet user or Internet nonuser based on whether or not they would use the Internet to seek travel-related information. Using discriminant analysis, chi square, and analysis of variance statistical techniques, a profile of demographic and behavioral characteristics was created. The results of this study suggest that people who use the Internet to search for travel-related information are likely to be people who are (a) college-educated owners of computers, (b) less than 45 years of age, (c) stay more often in commercial lodging establishments, and (d) spend more money each day while traveling. Implications for marketing managers and future research are discussed.
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On-line consumer reviews, functioning both as informants and as recommenders, are important in making purchase decisions and for product sales. Their persuasive impact depends on both their quality and their quantity. This paper uses the elaboration likelihood model to explain how level of involvement with a product moderates these relationships. The study produces three major findings: (1) the quality of on-line reviews has a positive effect on consumers' purchasing intention, (2) purchasing intention increases as the number of reviews increases, and (3) low-involvement consumers are affected by the quantity rather than the quality of reviews, but high-involvement consumers are affected by review quantity mainly when the review quality is high. These findings have implications for on-line sellers in terms of how to manage on-line consumer reviews.
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Over the past decade, the older market has emerged as an extremely important one because of its increased purchasing power for most consumer goods and services. The tourism and leisure industry is also targeting people aged 65 years and older, because many possess a relatively large share of discretionary money that they want to spend on travel. This has resulted in increasing attention by the mass media and the advertising industry in particular. This paper discusses the main types of information sources that are used by older adults when they make decisions about tourist and travel destinations, and particularly focuses on the importance of word-of-mouth sources and personal experiences. It also explores the influence of the mass media on trip decision making for older adults, and discusses the importance of brochures, magazines and television as information sources for older adults. Finally, it critiques the lack of senior models in advertising campaigns for travel products that are aimed at the older market.
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The author explores the information needs of service consumers. In the purchase decision process, search behavior is motivated in part by perceived risk and the consumer's ability to acquire relevant information with which purchase uncertainty can be addressed. Marketing theory suggests that consumers use information sources in a distinctive way to reduce the uncertainty associated with services. Hence, six hypotheses are developed to test the information acquisition of service buyers. An experimental approach is employed to compare, in a prepurchase context, the information sources used by consumers of services and those used by consumers of goods. The resulting data support the predictions offered and extend marketing theory.
Travel decisions can be described as evolving and dynamic information processing, requiring a large amount of information. With the enormous amount of information available on the Internet, travellers are able to obtain detailed information about almost any destination worldwide. However, this does not guarantee that travel information search is a satisfactory experience. Thus, understanding and integrating behavioural models of travel information search into system design will enhance the likelihood of the success of travel recommendation systems. This chapter provides an overview of the relevant literature on travel information search and processing within the context of digital information environments.