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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Mario Schaarschmidt and Björn Höber

Many booking services in traditional people-processing service areas such as gastronomy were recently transformed into online reservation services. While advantages for…

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2452

Abstract

Purpose

Many booking services in traditional people-processing service areas such as gastronomy were recently transformed into online reservation services. While advantages for platform providers (i.e. a share of the respective business) and merchants (i.e. increased operational efficiency) seem obvious, it is less known about how customers respond to these new forms of online services. This paper aims to illustrate how booking traditional people-processing services online is different from booking it via phone.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conceptualized a 2 × 2 experimental survey design by manipulating users’ booking channel (online vs low) and the service complexity of different, less digitized people-processing services (high: dentist vs low: restaurant). After conducting several pretests, the authors surveyed 282 respondents familiar with online booking and reservation.

Findings

The results show that the booking channel (online reservation vs phone reservation) affects associated perceived booking risk and negatively affects users’ intention to use the reservation service. Additionally, users’ attitudes toward online reservation moderate the influence of booking channel on perceived booking risk.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first research that investigates adoption of online reservation in people-processing services.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2020

Misuk Lee

Over the past two decades, online booking has become a predominant distribution channel of tourism products. As online sales have become more important, understanding…

Abstract

Purpose

Over the past two decades, online booking has become a predominant distribution channel of tourism products. As online sales have become more important, understanding booking conversion behavior remains a critical topic in the tourism industry. The purpose of this study is to model airline search and booking activities of anonymous visitors.

Design/methodology/approach

This study proposes a stochastic approach to explicitly model dynamics of airline customers’ search, revisit and booking activities. A Markov chain model simultaneously captures transition probabilities and the timing of search, revisit and booking decisions. The suggested model is demonstrated on clickstream data from an airline booking website.

Findings

Empirical results show that low prices (captured as discount rates) lead to not only booking propensities but also overall stickiness to a website, increasing search and revisit probabilities. From the decision timing of search and revisit activities, the author observes customers’ learning effect on browsing time and heterogeneous intentions of website visits.

Originality/value

This study presents both theoretical and managerial implications of online search and booking behavior for airline and tourism marketing. The dynamic Markov chain model provides a systematic framework to predict online search, revisit and booking conversion and the time of the online activities.

Details

Journal of Tourism Analysis: Revista de Análisis Turístico, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2254-0644

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Zili Zhang, Hengyun Li, Fang Meng and Yuanshuo Li

This paper aims to examine the influences of the number of hotel management responses and especially the textual similarity in hotel management responses to online reviews…

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1177

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the influences of the number of hotel management responses and especially the textual similarity in hotel management responses to online reviews on hotel online booking.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used the data from 437 hotels in New York City on Expedia. The data specifically include online reviews, management responses and real-time number of online hotel bookings, which were merged to create one dataset for this study. To calculate the management response similarity, three widely recognized text mining functions of calculating textual similarity were adopted in this model. Fixed-effect panel data model was then used to examine the influence of management response to consumer online reviews on online hotel booking volume.

Findings

The empirical results demonstrate that the number of management responses to consumer online reviews does not significantly affect hotel booking; compared to none or only one management response, or management responses with low similarity, management responses with high similarity can significantly reduce the hotel booking on Expedia.

Practical implications

This study suggests that the similarity of management responses influences customers’ hotel booking, and hotel managers should avoid providing too similar management responses.

Originality/value

First, this study, for the first time, proposes the concept of management response similarity and its measurement methods. Second, this study takes an initial attempt to empirically test the influence of response similarity on hotel booking by using secondary data online.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

ChihChien Chen, Karen Xie and Shuo Wang

This paper aims to examine the joint influence of incidental affect and mood-changing prices on consumers’ hotel booking intention in an online purchase context.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the joint influence of incidental affect and mood-changing prices on consumers’ hotel booking intention in an online purchase context.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the integrative framework of affect evaluation and affect regulation, a 3 × 2 full factorial between-subject online experiment in an online booking scenario is developed to investigate how consumers’ booking intentions change by mood inductions (happy, neutral and sad) and price levels (below versus above reference price).

Findings

Results showed that when the observed price was a mood-threatening cue, participants who were induced to feel either happy or sad by a commercial had a higher booking intention than those who were induced to feel neutral. However, there were no significant differences in participants’ booking intentions across pre-purchase affective states when the observed price was a mood-lifting cue.

Research limitations/implications

The current study contributes to a better understanding and prediction of consumers’ action tendencies resulting from the interactions between specific incidental affects and mood-changing opportunities in an online hotel reservation environment.

Practical implications

Online booking companies and online travel agencies in general may wish to incorporate mood-changing components into their booking web pages to enhance potential bookers’ purchase intentions at any given price.

Originality/value

This research is one of the first empirical studies to instantiate the integrative affective mechanism in an online purchase setting. As e-commerce and online marketplaces are taking the place of traditional brick-and-mortar retailing, it is critical for hospitality industry marketers to fully understand how consumers’ pre-purchase emotions influence their purchase decisions.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-9880

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2019

Karen L. Xie and Young Jin Lee

When shopping for hotels online, consumers usually follow a sequential process of search, click-through and book. How to maximize consumer conversion on the path to…

Abstract

Purpose

When shopping for hotels online, consumers usually follow a sequential process of search, click-through and book. How to maximize consumer conversion on the path to purchase and prevent potential customers from giving up the online search remains an important topic to hotel marketers and online travel agents (OTAs). The purpose of this study is to understand how informational cues displayed in an online hotel search process, including quality indicators, brand affiliation, incentives (discounted price and promotion) and position in the search results, influence consumer conversion from one stage to another.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected clickstream data of hotel search from Expedia. The data include information on individual consumers’ click-through and booking, as well as events leading up to the conversions (or failure to convert) from search, click-through to book. It contains 940,164 hotels searched and displayed in 39,574 online search queries made by users in a regional US market between November 1, 2012 and June 20, 2013. The modeling strategy comprised the Heckman model and random effects model, which integrated sequential consumer behavior in different problem-solving stages while accounting for heterogeneity across different hotels online.

Findings

The authors find that consumers rely on informational cues displayed online to make decisions about hotel booking. Specifically, consumers tend to click through hotels with higher consumer-generated ratings and industry-endorsed ratings. However, they tend to rely on consumer-generated ratings rather than industry-endorsed ratings when committing to a booking. Moreover, consumers are strongly responsive to incentives (discounted price and promotion) when clicking-through and booking a hotel. Finally, the likelihood of consumer conversions from search to click-through and booking is higher for hotels with brand affiliation and higher positions in the search results.

Originality/value

This research provides critical managerial implications of online search for hotel marketers and OTAs. The results inform hotel marketers and OTAs on how consumers respond to informational cues displayed in their search process and how these informational cues influence consumer conversion from one stage to another. The sequential problem-solving process of search, click-through and booking disclosed in this study also helps hotel marketers to identify customer conversion opportunities using effective informational cues.

研究目的

当在线酒店预定时, 消费者往往遵循一系列流程, 搜索, 点击查询, 到最后预定。对于酒店营销商和线上旅游社(OTAs)来说, 如何最大化提高消费转化, 使得消费者不会半途中断, 最后预定酒店, 是一个重要话题。本论文的研究目的就是理解酒店在线搜索过程中, 信息线索如何影响每个阶段的消费转化, 其中涉及的因素有:信息质量、品牌、激励(折扣和促销)、以及搜索结果排名等。

研究设计/方法/途径

研究样本数据采集于Expedia酒店搜索点击流。其中包括个人消费者点击和预定信息、以及由搜索、点击查询到预定过程中的消费转化(或者中途转化失败)的各种事件。样本容量包括940,164家酒店, 其涉及到由美国局部市场消费者在2012年11月1日到2013年6月20日之间做出的39,574条搜索结果。 我们采用Heckman模型和随机效应模型来整合不同线性时间上的消费者行为, 同时考虑不同酒店的多样性。

研究结果

研究发现消费者使用在线信息线索来做酒店预订决策。具体来说, 消费者倾向于对于消费者评价高和行业认证高的酒店进行点击查询。然而, 相比行业认证, 消费者更倾向于借鉴消费者评价, 来做出最后预定决策。此外, 在点击查询和预定时, 消费者对于激励(折扣和促销)反应强烈。最后, 品牌和搜索排名靠前的酒店往往获得从搜索、点击查询到最后预定中更高的消费转化率。

研究原创性/价值

本论文对酒店营销商和OTAs有重要的在线搜索启示。研究结果向酒店营销商和OTAs证明消费者在搜索过程中对信息线索如何反应, 以及这些信息线索如何影响每个阶段之间的消费转化。本论文展示的从搜索、点击查询、到预定的线性决策过程对于酒店营销商们有着重大帮助, 帮助其使用信息线索找出各种消费转化机遇。

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Alessandro Inversini and Lorenzo Masiero

This paper aims to focus on the reason why hoteliers choose to be present in online travel agent (OTA) and social media web sites for sales purposes. It also investigates…

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14920

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on the reason why hoteliers choose to be present in online travel agent (OTA) and social media web sites for sales purposes. It also investigates the technological and human factors related to these two practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a survey sent to a wide range of hotels in a Swiss touristic region. The empirical analysis involves the specification of two ordered logit models exploring the importance (in terms of online sales) of both social media and the online travel agent, Booking.com.

Findings

Findings highlight the constant tension between visibility and online sales in the web arena, as well as a clear distinction in social media and OTA web site adoption between hospitality structures using online management tools and employing personnel with specific skills.

Practical implications

The research highlights the need for the hospitality industry to maintain an effective presence on social media and OTAs in order to move towards the creation of a new form of social booking technologies to increase their visibility and sales.

Originality/value

This research contributes to understanding the major role played by OTAs and social media in the hospitality industry while underlining the possibility of a major interplay between the two.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 18 February 2019

Aye Aye Myat, Nora Sharkasi and Jay Rajasekera

Studies show that internet has become a major force propelling growth in tourism sector in many countries. An appropriate diffusion of the information and communication…

Abstract

Purpose

Studies show that internet has become a major force propelling growth in tourism sector in many countries. An appropriate diffusion of the information and communication technology (ICT) services can facilitate visibility of hotels and lodges on search sites and third-party booking websites and thus influence demand. It also helps leverage the use of social media for promotion and customer acquisition purposes. Recently, Myanmar, with impressive historical world heritage sites, is witnessing a tourist boom; more hotels are opening up and achieving competitive advantage by offering free internet connectivity to guests and locating their premises in the vicinity of an ICT infrastructure. The purpose of this paper is to investigate ICT readiness to support the lodging industry in Myanmar by focusing on one sub-index of the Network Readiness Index (NRI, a term heavily used by World Economic Forum). The paper focuses on the “Network Use” component of NRI, pertaining to the effect of the “quality of the Internet connection” available to lodges, and its association with the following dimensions: customer service: the availability of ICT services to guests, such as internet connectivity and availability of ATM in the vicinity; digital marketing: the use of social media, keeping records of guests and analyzing aggregate data to extract business insights; and business-to-business online booking: the use of online booking via major third-party intermediary websites like Expedia, Booking.com and Agoda.com.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys were conducted in three major touristic cities in Myanmar: Bagan, Mandalay and the capital city, Nay Pyi Taw. A total of 101 valid questionnaires were used. Survey questions were centered around the following themes: internet connection problems, digital marketing activities, and online booking directly or via third party digital intermediary. The data are presented and interpreted by descriptive statistics and regression analysis.

Findings

Though, Myanmar is new to internet and commercial use of ICT, the awareness of the importance of leveraging social media and online booking for business development is surprisingly high in the lodging sector. On average, about 80 percent of surveyed hotels are present on the WWW through a dedicated hotel website. However, most websites lack an online booking capability. As a result, and due to a global trend, online booking through third-party intermediaries has become the dominant option for hotel booking arrangements in Myanmar. Agoda, founded in Bangkok in 2002, was found to be the number one choice for online booking intermediary in Myanmar, followed by Booking.com. Analysis of the logistic regression revealed that it was highly likely that areas around ATMs have better internet connectivity. As expected, it was also found that it is very unlikely that hotels reporting a problem in internet connectivity will be able to provide internet service to their guests. Despite the presence of problems in internet connectivity in Mandalay and Bagan cities, located away from the capital; most hotels in these cities resort to leveraging social media for promotion and customer/guest development. The analysis also revealed that cities located away from the capital are more aggressive in leverage online third-booking intermediaries.

Research limitations/implications

While researchers were hoping for a higher participation rate in the survey, especially in the city of Mandalay, data collection was challenging, a number of hotels/lodges denied participation. This may have some implications on the generalization of results. However, over 70 and 45 percent of hotels/lodges in the capital city and the ancient city of Bagan, respectively, had participated in the survey.

Practical implications

Tourism has a great potential for growth in Myanmar. This research recommends ways to achieve and sustain competitive advantage for the lodging sector, which is vital for tourism.

Originality/value

Though a considerable research exists on tourism and the recent advances of the ICT sector in Myanmar, the country’s readiness for the actual usage of the internet for the development of tourism has not been specifically addressed. This paper explores this with compelling research findings useful for policy makers as well as players in the tourism sector.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Deniz Kucukusta, Rob Law, Alia Besbes and Patrick Legohérel

This paper aims to report the findings of an empirical research focusing on Hong Kong online users’ intention to book online tourism products with latest figures. Focusing…

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6468

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report the findings of an empirical research focusing on Hong Kong online users’ intention to book online tourism products with latest figures. Focusing on the technology acceptance model (TAM), this case study extends the recent research with providing insight regarding the online users’ perceptions of TAM dimensions and how these dimensions are perceived among different demographic groups and Internet usage characteristics with latest figures in Hong Kong, a major tourism destination in Asia with many world-class hotels.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 213 Hong Kong online users were surveyed in March and April 2013 in Hong Kong business districts.

Findings

Findings reveal that most respondents who use the Internet for booking online travel products are young, and people above a certain age are not likely to favor booking tourism products online. They are more likely to stick to traditional personal service. Perceived usefulness of the Internet is found more influential than its ease of use in forming a usage intention, and ease of use is perceived more important by jobseekers, student and employees than the other profession groups. In addition, respondents who use the Internet every day and did purchase online tourism product perceived usefulness more important than ease of use.

Research limitations/implications

The generalization of this research is limited by its sample size and number of questions.

Originality/value

The study gives a new perspective by linking TAM with intention to book online in Hong Kong. The paper would be of interest to the Web site planners or online tourism practitioners to consider Web site usefulness as much as its ease of its use, as both usefulness and ease of use of tourism Web sites are strong predictors of intention to book online.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Pietro Beritelli and Roland Schegg

Hotel managers are being challenged by the increasing multitude of distribution and sales channels. Online travel agencies (OTAs) in particular generate a great deal of…

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7500

Abstract

Purpose

Hotel managers are being challenged by the increasing multitude of distribution and sales channels. Online travel agencies (OTAs) in particular generate a great deal of uncertainty: Which are the best ones? Which ones offer the best conditions? How many channels are optimal for my hotel? How can I evaluate costs versus benefits? These and other questions concerning the optimal online distribution channel strategy have produced different reactions in practice. The aim of this paper is to challenge the need for an over-optimization of channel strategy by proposing that the consumer, at the end, deals with a network of information presented on one networked environment, including the Web. Hence, the network effect of the numerous online platforms is what drives consumer choice and, finally, bookings.

Design/methodology/approach

A series of multiple regressions with representative samples of hotels in Switzerland from the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 was performed to estimate the importance of the number of platforms against other independent variables. Additionally, further multiple regressions with samples from the years 2011 and 2012 using the most important platforms (first-tier channels) shows again that the number of platforms is more important.

Findings

The analyses show that the estimated number of online bookings by the respondents in the hotels is a result of the number of channels, not the type of channel. This is particularly true for non-categorized establishments and one- and two-star hotels. The analyses do not confirm the billboard effect, according to which particular platforms (first-tier channels) increase the probability of bookings. Thus, the survival strategy is to maximize share of shelf and to build on interdependencies and network effects.

Research limitations/implications

The study looks only at online bookings. Additional research into the connection between online and offline channels, particularly from the viewpoint of the consumer, will provide further insights. The study looks at the booking volume per channel, not the monetary sales volume or the profit. A study that quantifies not only the volume of bookings but also the total profit or the contribution to profit per channel could quantify the benefits of the multi-channel strategy.

Originality/value

The multiple online channel strategy seems to be the more effective approach to maximizing bookings online, regardless of the platforms chosen. Results of the study challenge the current opinion among practitioners that the multitude of distribution channels forces them to choose among single online channels and, therefore, drives the search for criteria to assess these channels or even to disregard them. The consistent results across 2009-2012 show that even in the turbulent phase of the advent of OTAs in the travel industry, hotels can adopt a winning strategy. Finally, the results suggest that the intermediation of online distribution of hotel beds has approached the condition of perfect competition, causing the OTA business model to be cannibalized.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Xinyuan (Roy) Zhao, Liang Wang, Xiao Guo and Rob Law

– This study aims to investigate the impacts of online review and source features upon travelers’ online hotel booking intentions.

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16594

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impacts of online review and source features upon travelers’ online hotel booking intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study developed a research model and empirically examined the model by collecting data from business travelers in the Mainland China. Factor analysis was adopted to identify features of online reviews content and source attribute. Regression analysis was used to examine impacts of these attributes upon travelers’ online booking intention.

Findings

Six features of online reviews content and one source attribute were identified, namely, usefulness, reviewer expertise, timeliness, volume, valence (negative and positive) and comprehensiveness. Regression analysis results testified positive causal relationships between usefulness, reviewer expertise, timeliness, volume and comprehensiveness and respondents’ online booking intentions. A significantly negative relation between negative online reviews and online booking intentions was identified, whereas impacts from positive online reviews upon booking intentions were not statistically significant.

Research limitations/implications

The major limitation of this study is that interrelationships among features of online reviews, which were discussed in other similar studies, were not considered. Still, this study benefited researchers from scrutinizing features of online reviews, rather than several of them. As such, it offered more comprehensive suggestions for practitioners in how to better utilize online reviews as a marketing tool.

Practical implications

Hospitality practitioners could enhance consumer review management by applying the six underlying factors of online review in the present study to find out the ways of increasing consumers’ booking intentions in the specific hotel contexts.

Originality/value

A major theoretical contribution of this paper is its comprehensiveness in examining features of review content as well as its source simultaneously. This study also offered areas worthy of more research efforts from perspectives of practitioners and researchers.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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