This paper aims to examine the factors contributing to the helpfulness of online hotel reviews and to measure the impact of manager response on the helpfulness of online hotel reviews.
This investigation used a linear regression model that drew upon 56,284 consumer reviews and 10,797 manager responses from 1,405 hotels on TripAdvisor.com for analysis.
The helpfulness of online hotel reviews is negatively affected by rating and number of sentences in a review, but positively affected by manager response and reviewer experience in terms of reviewer status, years of membership, and number of cities visited. Manager response moderates the influence of reviewer experience on the helpfulness of online hotel reviews.
Using the data from hotels in five major cities in Texas, the results may not be necessarily generalized to other markets, but the important role that manager response plays in online reviews is assessed with big data analysis.
The results suggest hospitality managers should strategically identify opinion leaders among reviewers and proactively influence the helpfulness of the reviews by providing manager response. Additionally, this study makes recommendations to webmasters of social media platforms in terms of advancing the algorithm of featuring the most helpful online reviews.
This study is at the frontier of research to explain how hotel managers can proactively identify opinion leaders among consumers and use manager response to influence the helpfulness of consumer reviews. Additionally, the results also provide new insights to the influence of reviewer demographic background on the helpfulness of online reviews. Finally, this study analyzed a large data set on a scale that was not available in traditional guest survey studies, responding to the call for big data applications in the hospitality industry.
Kwok, L. and Xie, K.L. (2016), "Factors contributing to the helpfulness of online hotel reviews: Does manager response play a role?", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 28 No. 10, pp. 2156-2177. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-03-2015-0107Download as .RIS
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