Destination Recommendation Systems: Behavioural Foundations and Applications

Marianna Sigala (University of the Aegean, Chios, Chios Island, Greece)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 7 March 2008



Sigala, M. (2008), "Destination Recommendation Systems: Behavioural Foundations and Applications", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 236-237.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

As online consumers demand more personalisation, easy navigation and fast Internet information searching, recommendation systems have become an essential tool for any tourism website. This book aims to offer a multi‐disciplinary understanding of the practical design and theoretical underpinnings of the development of destination recommendation systems (DRS) by consolidating research and studies ranging from management and marketing to psychology, mathematics and computer sciences. The 18 book chapters are divided into four logically sequenced parts. The chapters are contributed by 27 international academics and researchers from varied disciplinary backgrounds and country contexts. However, all authors' arguments converge into a single outcome; the need to design DRS that are aligned with the users' behavioural models (e.g. decision styles and models, information search preferences etc) providing them with both functional (utilitarian) and emotional (affective) benefits. All chapters provide: a solid critical literature review of their related topic; primary findings and/or discussion about the implications of the literature review (in case a research study is not presented) on DRS; and a chapter summary. The book is reader‐friendly (demonstrated in its writing style and language) giving a comprehensive synthesis of both the theoretical and empirical interpretations of DRS.

The first part of the book focuses upon the theoretical foundations of the design of DRS by providing comprehensive and excellent reviews of the literature related to the information search and decision‐making behaviour of Internet users. However, these chapters' discussions regarding the literature implications on the design of DRS are generally too short and not sufficiently expanded into deeper concepts and issues, with the exception of chapter 5, an excellent paper that effectively consolidates the previous chapters into a holistic behavioural model for DRS and provides useful practical guidelines for future DRS design. The chapters that follow elaborate on this framework, providing research studies and discussions of methodologies and considerations for DRS and analyse the theoretical and practical implications of the incorporation of decision styles and travellers' personality, case‐based, neural systems, narrative design, interface metaphors and playfulness in the design and on the effectiveness of DRS. Building on these notions, the book presents the development of four different DRS and discusses each system's capabilities and future trends in optimisation strategies and interface designs. Finally, the authors present an interesting example for arguing the expected evolution of DRS to normal everyday tools (e.g. traffic lights) enabling people to interpret and navigate their environment.

Overall, this is a well‐written and easy‐to‐read book that provides multi‐disciplinary context and DRS system specificity to a very topical subject. The book is a good starting point for researchers conducting research in the area of recommendation systems and to tourism practitioners involved with the design of DRS.

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