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Customer’s digital advocacy: the impact of reviews and influencers in building trust for tourism and hospitality services

Kirti Dutta (Rishihood University, Sonipat, India)
Kirti Sharma (Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, India)
Terjani Goyal (Institute of Rural Management, Jaipur, India)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 31 May 2021

Issue publication date: 6 July 2021




Marketers are focusing on the need for customer advocacy to influence other customers and drive consumption. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether online or digital advocacy influences customer decision-making related to the purchase of travel and tourism services. This paper will also identify the categories of influencers that stimulate purchase for travel and tourism. Influencers do want to know the kind of information customers are looking for.


This paper is based on a primary survey of travelers to understand their degree of dependence on online reviews while making hospitality consumption-related decisions.


This paper looks at both influencer marketing and online reviews by consumers to understand consumption toward advocated brand. Influencers who are perceived as unbiased in their viewpoints are trending on social media. Consumers gain trust in reviews that disclose reviewer information, number of relevant reviews are present over a period and presence of both unbiased positive and negative recommendations related to the establishment and prices versus performance.

Practical implications

Marketers and influencers alike can gain from the factors influencing consumer trust toward online advocacy and reviewed information.


Research is relevant for all stakeholders as it highlights the fact that consumers are looking at online reviews and one does not have to be a famous personality to influence purchase. It is relevant for influencers, as it highlights reasons for trust and various information cues that consumers are looking for. Research also gives perspective to influencers to refine online strategy and gain trust of more followers.



Dutta, K., Sharma, K. and Goyal, T. (2021), "Customer’s digital advocacy: the impact of reviews and influencers in building trust for tourism and hospitality services", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 260-274.



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