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The influence of online reviews to online hotel booking intentions

Xinyuan (Roy) Zhao (Business School, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China)
Liang Wang (School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China)
Xiao Guo (School of Economics and Commerce, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
Rob Law (School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 10 August 2015

20613

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impacts of online review and source features upon travelers’ online hotel booking intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study developed a research model and empirically examined the model by collecting data from business travelers in the Mainland China. Factor analysis was adopted to identify features of online reviews content and source attribute. Regression analysis was used to examine impacts of these attributes upon travelers’ online booking intention.

Findings

Six features of online reviews content and one source attribute were identified, namely, usefulness, reviewer expertise, timeliness, volume, valence (negative and positive) and comprehensiveness. Regression analysis results testified positive causal relationships between usefulness, reviewer expertise, timeliness, volume and comprehensiveness and respondents’ online booking intentions. A significantly negative relation between negative online reviews and online booking intentions was identified, whereas impacts from positive online reviews upon booking intentions were not statistically significant.

Research limitations/implications

The major limitation of this study is that interrelationships among features of online reviews, which were discussed in other similar studies, were not considered. Still, this study benefited researchers from scrutinizing features of online reviews, rather than several of them. As such, it offered more comprehensive suggestions for practitioners in how to better utilize online reviews as a marketing tool.

Practical implications

Hospitality practitioners could enhance consumer review management by applying the six underlying factors of online review in the present study to find out the ways of increasing consumers’ booking intentions in the specific hotel contexts.

Originality/value

A major theoretical contribution of this paper is its comprehensiveness in examining features of review content as well as its source simultaneously. This study also offered areas worthy of more research efforts from perspectives of practitioners and researchers.

Keywords

Citation

Zhao, X.(R)., Wang, L., Guo, X. and Law, R. (2015), "The influence of online reviews to online hotel booking intentions", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 1343-1364. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-12-2013-0542

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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