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Are blogs still effective to maintain customer relationships? An empirical study on the travel industry

Chaang-Iuan Ho (Department of Leisure Services Management, Chaoyang University of Technology, Taichung, Taiwan)
Pie-Chun Lee (Famonn Coffee in Wowprime Group, Taichung, Taiwan)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 16 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to propose a model investigating the effectiveness of travel blogs as a relationship marketing tool. Specifically, the mediating role of online relationship quality (RQ) dimensions between the attributes of blogs and e-loyalty is modeled. Furthermore, the study investigates the e-loyalty to travel blogs in explaining the reader’s intention to purchase from its online retailer.

Design/methodology/approach

The subjects of this study were blog readers who had travel blog usage experiences. The online survey was conducted by one of the major portal Web sites in Taiwan. There were 288 usable responses obtained in total. The structural equation modeling approach was used to estimate the research model.

Findings

The research results indicate that information quality plays a dominant role in influencing online satisfaction and trust. The mediating role of e-satisfaction between e-trust and e-loyalty is identified, and thus the online RQ development process: information quality → e-trust → e-satisfaction → e-loyalty→ intention to buy travel products.

Research limitations/implications

Travel blogs are still effective to maintain customer relationship. However, they seem to lose interactivity and entertainment to readers.

Practical implications

Managerial implications lay emphasis on providing a completed circuit by integrating different social media to facilitate tourism information seeking.

Originality/value

This study is to develop a context-specific model of relationship marketing drivers to the travel blogosphere.

Keywords

Citation

Ho, C.-I. and Lee, P.-C. (2015), "Are blogs still effective to maintain customer relationships? An empirical study on the travel industry", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 5-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTT-01-2015-0005

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited