To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Factors influencing cruise vacations: the impact of online reviews and environmental friendliness

Frida Bahja (College of Hospitality and Tourism Leadership, University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee , Sarasota, Florida, USA)
Cihan Cobanoglu (College of Hospitality and Tourism Leadership, University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee , Sarasota, Florida, USA)
Katerina Berezina (College of Hospitality and Tourism Leadership, University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee , Sarasota, Florida, USA)
Carolin Lusby (Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus , North Miami, Florida, USA)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 13 December 2018

Issue publication date: 19 June 2019

Downloads
754

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to discover the relative importance of influencing factors toward booking a cruise vacation. Based on a review of literature, this study focused on exploring the relative importance of six influential factors in cruise customers’ decision-making process: cruise vacation price, cruise duration, distance from the cruise port, itineraries, environmental friendliness of cruise line and cruise online reviews.

Design/methodology/approach

The complexity of cruise customers’ decision-making process for involving these six attributes with several levels was examined with choice-based conjoint (CBC) analysis. CBC was selected due to its realistic approach to purchase decisions, in the form of trade-offs. The online survey collected data anonymously. The survey was distributed through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (Mturk) platform. The sample consisted of 450 cruise customers, who had experienced a cruise vacation before.

Findings

The findings of the study showed that online reviews were the most influential attribute for cruise customers in their cruise decision, followed very closely by the environmental friendliness of the cruise line. The next influential factor was the duration of the cruise vacation, which was followed by distance from the cruise port, cruise itinerary and cruise vacation price. The best and the worst cruise vacation profiles were generated based on the CBC analysis.

Practical implications

The findings of this study provide some insights with regard to cruise customers’ importance about influencing factors when deciding on a cruise vacation.

Originality/value

The research provides insides in understanding the influential factors at the last stage of cruise customers’ decision-making process. In this regard, cruise industry can pay more attention in promoting the attributes of a cruise offer as influential factors. Additionally, the findings of this study contribute to the general knowledge about cruise customers’ decision-making process.

Keywords

Citation

Bahja, F., Cobanoglu, C., Berezina, K. and Lusby, C. (2019), "Factors influencing cruise vacations: the impact of online reviews and environmental friendliness", Tourism Review, Vol. 74 No. 3, pp. 400-415. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-12-2017-0207

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited