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How reviewer level affects review helpfulness and reviewing behavior across hotel classifications: the case of Seoul in Korea

Sunyoung Hlee (Smart Tourism Research Center, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 27 October 2020

Issue publication date: 7 June 2021




The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of reviewer qualification and credibility (RQC) and hotel classification involving online hotel reviews (OHRs). The study examines the effects of the reviewer level as a proxy of RQC on review helpfulness and reviewing behavior (review rating, review length). The study also included hotel classification as a moderating variable.


Data from 1,968 reviews were collected from using a web data-harvesting technique. Hypothesized relations in the model were tested with t-test and MANOVA analysis.


The empirical results show that the effect of reviewer level on review helpfulness is not significant. In addition, a high-level reviewer tends to leave a lower rating and a lengthier review than a low-level reviewer. Regarding the moderating effects, for the high-level reviewer, three-star independent hotels have a greater effect on review helpfulness.

Research limitations/implications

The study has several useful implications for researchers, hotel industry when managing OHR and disseminating information to their potential consumers.

Practical implications

The findings help online review website organizers manage the operation of RQC and hotel classification in a proper manner. Marketing managers, especially those of three-star independent hotels, can effectively utilize review management to the desired effect.


Unlike previous studies, this study explores the effect of RQC on review helpfulness and reviewing behaviors across the hotel classification. In addition, this study contributes to the hotel industry developing more effective online reviews from the reviewer level and diverse hotel types (three-star independent, four-star chain, five-star luxury hotels).



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2019S1A3A2098438).


Hlee, S. (2021), "How reviewer level affects review helpfulness and reviewing behavior across hotel classifications: the case of Seoul in Korea", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 121 No. 6, pp. 1191-1215.



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