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The impact of destination online review content characteristics on travel intention: experiments based on psychological distance perspectives

Zhangxiang Zhu (College of Tourism, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, China)
Yaxin Zhao (College of Tourism, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, China)
Jing Wang (College of Tourism, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, China)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 8 December 2022

37

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the relationship between the content characteristics of destination online reviews and travel intention under three individual circumstances: temporal distance, social distance and experiential distance.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on construal-level theory (CLT), this study divides online travel reviews into concrete and abstract reviews. Three experiments were conducted to test the moderating effects of temporal distance, social distance and experiential distance on the influence of review content characteristics on tourists' travel intentions.

Findings

The results show that abstract reviews would lead to higher travel intentions than concrete reviews. Furthermore, tourists' travel intentions differed depending on social distance and were significantly affected by reviews posted by reviewers similar to review recipients. In addition, the study contributes by discovering that the moderating effects of temporal distance, social distance and experiential distance were not significant, which differs from most of the previous research conclusions.

Originality/value

This study focused on review content characteristics, which provided a novel perspective for constructing online travel reviews. Furthermore, this research defined the concept of experiential distance in the context of online travel and expanded the research on psychological distance.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Editor-in-Chief Dan Wu and two anonymous reviewers for their honest, helpful, and constructive comments. This work was funded by grants from the Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant No. 2022JJ30409], and the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant No. 71901226].

Citation

Zhu, Z., Zhao, Y. and Wang, J. (2022), "The impact of destination online review content characteristics on travel intention: experiments based on psychological distance perspectives", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-06-2022-0293

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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