Online Reputation Management in Destination and Hospitality

Cover of Online Reputation Management in Destination and Hospitality

What We Know, What We Need to Know

Subject:

Synopsis

Table of contents

(14 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xiv
Content available

I Introduction

Abstract

Online reputation manager has become increasingly important in tourism industry. Managers, regardless of working for a hospitality structure or a tourism destination, are paying more and more attention in respect of the importance of reputational levels. Online reputation, in fact, originates in visitor's user-generated contents (UGCs) but reverberates on the whole web, on successive visitors' attitude and behavior, and on managed organization performances. How to manage online reputation in tourism and destination management anyway mostly stayed an anecdotal topic for many years. While best practices exist, indeed, literature has frequently neglected their systematization. Building on this need, this book will try to improve and organize the existing body of knowledge on this topic to help future hotel and destination managers to better deal with the mounting environmental complexity.

II Determinants of Online Reputation in Tourism

Abstract

Interest in the Electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) in connection with tourism is constantly growing not only among consumers but also among theoreticians. Therefore, the objective of this chapter is to provide an overview of studies that focus on eWOM in the tourism sector using the snowball method. The article is based on a review of the literature of 60 studies that focus not only on consumer behavior in tourism and the impact of eWOM on tourism supply but also on the impact of hotel managers' responses to other consumer behavior and tourism companies. The results of the studies show that eWOM has a significant impact not only on consumer behavior but also on tourism supply. Manager responses can also strongly affect other consumer behavior in decision-making. When eWOM is distributed, consumers are influenced by their emotions, motives, and also by the websites to which they have decided to contribute. The chapter proposes further research areas for different authors.

Abstract

Because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, online platforms where travelers' comments and reviews are published have grown considerably. More specifically, in the tourism sector, these social evaluations have been shown to have a strong influence as online platforms, such as online travel agencies (OTA), represent a main touchpoint for the formation process of the online corporate reputation. Hence, the purpose of this study is to investigate how the pandemic has influenced the online reputation formation of tourism companies and which are the new reputation pillars emerging from the COVID-19. To achieve this research aim, we analyzed the customers' reviews as reported publicly on TrustPilot.com, an online platform that allows customers to review businesses after a purchase or contact with their customer service, before and after COVID-19 so as to identify significant changes in the corporate reputational drivers of LastMinute.com. With this study we have identified the four topic clusters and their sentiment in the two periods of consideration, and we have found that the corporate reputation of tourism companies is formed today starting from different consumer needs. Finally, managerial implications for communication professionals operating in tourism firms are presented.

Abstract

The objective of the research is to explore the importance of online reputation management through some core concepts: technologies and entrepreneurship. Specifically, the research will explore how in a tourism ecosystem context, it is strategically relevant through the use of Big Data Analytics (BDA) to manage and improve online reputation management. An emphasis will also be placed on the concept of entrepreneurship and dynamic capabilities. Finally, the research also explores empowerment issue to shed some considerations on the development of tourists' online reviews.

Abstract

Online reputation management (ORM) plays a significant role in the tourism industry. Tourists are more and more interested to express their opinions about their experiences/satisfaction not only with their friends but also on social media. ORM is largely used not only by tourist destinations but also by other companies operating in the tourism industry. This chapter aims to draw attention to the importance of intermediaries in tourism, their reputation in general, and especially their ORM and its specifics. This contribution also characterizes different types of intermediaries and their different roles in the distribution process of tourism services. These roles are important and can be even more significant in the “new normal” post-COVID-19 time. In the scientific literature and research, there is not much attention given to intermediaries as a whole and even less to their ORM and its specific solutions. But practical contributions can be found. Due to the specific activities and roles of different types of intermediaries, also their reputation is influenced not only by tourists but also by their suppliers. Their ORM has also some specifics and needs specific solutions. Their reputation is depending not only on customers' satisfaction with their own services but also on the reputation of tourism service providers, whose services they offer and mediate either individually or in the form of their own product, e.g., package tours. Specific attention in this chapter is given to intermediaries such as OTAs (Online Travel Agencies/Agents) and tour operators. At some time, these two types of intermediaries help to increase the reputation of tourism services providers, e.g., hotels. The chapter describes the situation in the field of intermediaries with a conceptual model, their ORM, and summarizes its specifics.

Abstract

The consequences of a media-shaped perceptual destination attribute during the pandemic on a commitment to embrace and thread trip intent are explored in this research. The influence of four elements related to the choice of destination, involving reliability, strategic planning, health service, and friendly relationship on tourism performance expectancy are chosen depending on visitors' previous experience of a certain place, using the notion of psychological tourist satisfaction and an interactive personality questionnaire. Industry 4.0 paradigms are either viewed with skepticism or eagerness by organizations. Organizations that develop different innovative strategies to leverage the digital world doing and offering greater opportunity will certainly drive the evolution in tourism. Any revolutionary technology has the potential to benefit or harm enterprises. An Industry “4.0” data type depicts the technological transformation occurring inside a given business, from Industrial Revolution 4.0 to dealing with customers 4.0. However, one instance is Tourism 4.0. Social networking is not unique. Hospitality organizations, especially, must be acutely conscious of the customer's power as a result of social networking sites. The increase in security concerns by preventing the rate of cybercrime and by enhancing the secure money transactions in online reputation management consolidates the socioeconomic relationship. The comparative study has been propagated in relevance to the pre- and post-pandemic effects on the tourism industry.

Abstract

The coronavirus pandemic that has been significantly affecting global economics in the last few years has strongly influenced the tourism industry. Given its up-to-now development, we can expect that it will be one of the main factors affecting the tourism industry even in the upcoming period of time. The accelerated digitalization of the field in the last decade significantly changed the consumers' position. They quickly became highly informed tourists who are exceedingly oriented in the offers. The expansion of content that the consumers jointly formed has contributed substantially to this situation, representing an essential source of sharing experience. At the same time, this information is essential for the initial purchasing stage from other customers' points of view. The flexibility of this way of communicating subsequently enhanced the development of mobile technology that modified in time and content of the tourists' consumer behavior model associated with the field of the online tourism market.

The current form of digital tourist is also connected with the ability to use such information to a greater extent, eliminating the risk connected with the choice of final destination and service itself. The significance of information has risen with the numerosity of the tourists' trips and the turnout of new destinations. Social media have been playing a significant role in this process of purchasing decisions for quite some time now. Still, the review systems also play an important role apart from social media. The digitalization of the tourism market brought in its development an incredible extent of information with which the current tourists can work. However, on the other side, it creates a large quantity of information that they have to work through in order to get relevant results. The period of last two years that was affected by the coronavirus crisis has nevertheless significantly affected not only the frequency of traveling, but it is also gradually showing in the consumers' attitude. Among the factors that recently played a significant informational role is relatively a new piece of information of medical nature that has a direct connection to the changes that affected tourism from the ongoing coronavirus crisis point of view. The question remaining is what role and significance the current consumers are assigning to this information. It is also important to investigate what factors affect their willingness to include this information in their decision-making. In this article, we are proceeding from extensive research oriented on online reputation management that took place within a study that was realized at the turn of the years 2021 and 2022.

III Online Reputation Management Strategies

Abstract

The reputation has a significant impact on business, and it influences by causing an exponential positive or negative effect. There are many different issues that affect the level of reputation, and they are independent from the sector of the activity. If we focus on museums, previous studies mainly highlight the different strategies in order to manage and to increase their reputation. However, each research points out a specific aspect linked to the engagement, the use of digital technologies, or social media platforms. Our research aims to deep investigate the governance and leadership drivers in order to increase positive feeling within stakeholders also by using social media instruments. This research has indeed an exploratory nature as, to the best of our knowledge, no previous research focused on a similar strategy that characterizes for a “stellar” manager applied to a small museum in a small city.

The research uses a case study by observing the effects of selecting a well-known manager of the top ranked museum in the world (Louvre) in order to boost the reputation of a “startup” museum barely known (Pistoia Museums). After having analyzed the main drivers of reputation of the case, the study uses interview with the scientific director of the small museum.

The results contribute to the discussion about the drivers and the different strategies to boost reputation by showing how the management and leadership issues are able to increase it rapidly. However, findings also point out the need to have a clear overview about the digital tools applied to an adequate communication. The results show how the flexibility of a small growing museum can positively affect and boost reputation. This strategy can be applied to other small museums that aim to affirm their identity.

Abstract

There is no doubt that social media have had a powerful impact on the way people experience the world around them. People love sharing new experiences and telling social networks about upcoming travel plans and reminiscing about them after they have returned. People prefer to buy products and services from brands they trust. Social media allow people to share written testaments to the brand's most amazing qualities, and share pictures and videos of their experiences. Social media make it easy to approach the enterprises and interact with them.

Connecting reputation management and social media is the process of monitoring and handling user-generated social media content such as reviews to impact the way a company is recognized. Tangible aspects of services and products are evaluated by customers of tourism and hospitality enterprises in an individual manner, and relevant opinions are shared on various social media platforms. The cost of a negative experience is rather high – the “eWOM” (electronic word-of-mouth) through social media essentially could destroy a business. For many businesses, a bad review or comment on one social networking site could spread to other social media tools.

The pattern of use of social media by customers of tourism and hospitality organizations can be divided into three stages: pretrip, during the trip, and posttrip use of social media. Customer experiences during each of these stages can be reflected on different social media networks. The manner of the use of social media by customers at all three stages could influence on performances of tourism and hospitality organizations as advantages and challenges. In this article authors are discussing both positive and negative impacts depending on consumer experiences and a range of other factors. Social media implementing blogs, social networking sites, photo and video stories, chats, forums, and other forms of communication need to be used by management of tourism and hospitality enterprises in an integrated manner. Great opportunities offered by viral marketing are fully appreciated and acted upon by managers of hospitality organizations.

It is important for the enterprise to develop an engaged audience by creating and sharing relevant content on social platforms. In addition to relevant content it is important to pay attention to interacting with the audience. Focus must be on products and services, but without interacting and engaging with the audience the enterprise might lose them. Social media are an option for tourism and hospitality to get the opportunity to control and present their contents including their products and services, and using it positively, solve their core values and draw and retain back their customers. Using social media channels can help enterprises to generate more profit. Setting special procedures or documents on how to respond to negative and positive comments guarantees correct and consistent execution. In this chapter the reader could find some real examples from tourism and hospitality enterprises.

Abstract

The aim of the chapter is to examine the importance and use of reviews in the marketing communication of selected spa tourism enterprises on the Internet. The subject of the research are reviews as an important part of the online reputation of spa tourism enterprises and the object of the research is marketing communication on the Internet. The chapter focuses on spas located in Slovakia. The primary sources are the results of a quantitative survey conducted by standardized observation of the websites and profiles of all spa tourism enterprises in Slovakia under study on the social networks Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube based on predetermined criteria. At the same time, the results of the primary survey are conducted by the method of questioning using the technique of structured interviews. The chapter uses theoretical research methods such as analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, and generalization. The chapter presents the results of qualitative research using the Sankey diagram, processed by Atlas.ti software. The results of the research point to the fact that spa tourism enterprises in Slovakia use their own websites and social networks to communicate in the online environment, where they monitor both positive and negative reviews. However, they often do not work with reviews systematically enough and do not make use of standardized procedures and available technologies that would enable them to manage their online reputation more effectively.

IV Instruments to Improve ORM in Destination Management

Abstract

A destination's ability to attract tourists is associated with the visitor experience and, in recent years, visitors have increasingly used virtual environments and digital innovation, such as social media platforms, to communicate their experience of tourist destinations. A positive well-communicated tourist experience improves the reputation of the destination and has relevant consequences for both the destination's attractiveness and its competitive advantage. On the contrary, when the destination's reputation is negatively affected by visitors' experiences, comments and reviews, such destination might compromise its ability to attract new visitors. Studies in this field agree alike that the tourist experience is negatively affected by overcrowding and overflows phenomena occurring around the visited city attractions. The present research, merging the aforementioned observations, investigates whether visitor density affects the online reputation of the Uffizi Gallery, estimated by extracting visitors' opinions and feedbacks on the city's main attractions from TripAdvisor ratings and from Twitter posts, by applying sentiment analysis to evaluate whether the text is positive, negative, or neutral. The city of Florence is an ideal case study, as the city records almost 16 million tourist overnight stays per year hence highly exposed to the risk of tourist overcrowding and overflows. The research findings reveal that Uffizi Gallery experiences and mood are influenced by the number of visitors insisting and if tourists live a negative experience, this is further exacerbated by the growing density of visitors themselves. We find that, if tourists have a negative experience, this is exacerbated by the density of visitors to the Uffizi Gallery. The results reveal also that tourists' experiences are even more influenced by any general dissatisfaction they experience in the city of Florence in a broader way. Practical implications and theoretical contributions are discussed.

Abstract

The chapter proposes to investigate online reputation of hospitality brands and its measurements. Brand reputation is generally defined as an overall appraisal of a company by its stakeholders, which is the result of the company's past actions and predictions about the company's future (Ferguson, Deephouse, & Ferguson, 2000). Being viewed as the opinion shared among a group of stakeholders (Dowling, 2008), it plays an important role in the tourism industry. With the progress of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), reviews and user-generated contents of destinations and of hospitality companies together with the related emerging brand reputation can influence consumers' behaviors and choices. Brand reputation analysis could be more useful in the hospitality brand management when integrated with brand image and brand identity analysis, mainly because in tourism businesses and destinations, brands are typically affected by an inherent fragility determined by the service nature of products (Casarin, 1996). According to Biel (1991), the meanings that consumers assign to a brand are synthesized into brand associations formed by the components perceived to underlie the brand's image. As well as brand reputation, strong, positive and unique associations reinforce a brand and increase its equity that requires significant internal brand identity efforts, which should create a corresponding brand image through integration in overall marketing programmes (Keller, 2003). It makes sense to develop an analytical research approach that compares online brand reputation (OBR) with brand association matching as a measure of the alignment between brand identity and brand image in hospitality companies. This comparative analysis emerging from brand reputation, brand image and brand identity analysis can reveal divergent situations (i.e., high brand reputation and low brand association matching) and orient brand managers in reviewing online brand communication. Brand reputation and brand image analysis will be contextualized in an online community as a social setting that is considered to be a new type of market (Muniz & O'Guinn, 2001). We focus on hospitality online communities populated by consumers and other actors such as influencers and bloggers: their brand perception could be separately compared with brand identity that we will extract from company communications including presentational information and brand-related press releases found on websites, nonfinancial narrative from annual reports, and interviews with managers published in mainstream media sources. In our analysis we will focalize on a cluster of luxury hospitality companies integrating a netnographic and text-mining techniques. We will use both the techniques in order to (1) extract and study brand associations in terms of brand reputation, brand image, and brand identity; (2) develop indicators of brand reputation and brand association matching; and (3) discuss their utility in the management of the hospitality company brands.

Index

Pages 237-241
Content available
Cover of Online Reputation Management in Destination and Hospitality
DOI
10.1108/9781803823751
Publication date
2023-02-09
Editors
ISBN
978-1-80382-376-8
eISBN
978-1-80382-375-1