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Impact of interactive eReferral on tourists behavioral intentions

Ameen Al-Htibat (Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Cyprus International University, Nicosia, Cyprus)
Zanete Garanti (Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Cyprus International University, Nicosia, Cyprus)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 15 March 2019

Issue publication date: 19 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Despite recognizing the importance of eReferral in shaping tourists’ behavioral intentions, researchers have rarely explored its dynamics. In the recent years, interest in the superiority of interactive eReferral over eWOM has burgeoned, thus increasing theoretical and empirical quest, which has generated many inconsistencies. Drawing on social identity, trust transfer and social tie theories, the purpose of this paper is to explore an integrative model that investigates the impact of interactive eReferral on tourists’ engagement, eReferral sharing behavior and intention to visit. Besides the direct influences of interactive eReferral on tourists’ engagement, eReferral sharing behavior and intention to visit, the authors assess the mediating role of tourist engagement on the relationship between these concepts.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilizing survey data, variance-based structural equation modeling (VB-SEM) was applied to diagnose the proposed model.

Findings

VB-SEM results suggest that interactive eReferral has a positive impact on tourist engagement, eReferral sharing behavior and intention to visit. Tourist engagement mediates the link between interactive eReferral and eReferral sharing behavior, and intention to visit.

Originality/value

By examining the relationship between interactive eReferral, tourists’ engagement, eReferral sharing behavior and intention to visit, the model departs from existing views to shed new light on the interactivity of eReferral. Implications for marketing practices and research are discussed.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors have no conflict of interest. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Citation

Al-Htibat, A. and Garanti, Z. (2019), "Impact of interactive eReferral on tourists behavioral intentions", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 527-541. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-08-2018-0348

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited