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What is the relevance of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) in the travel industry and its effect on consumer behaviour when reading online hotel guest reviews?

Lavelle, Rebekah (2017) What is the relevance of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) in the travel industry and its effect on consumer behaviour when reading online hotel guest reviews? Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Electronic word of mouth communication (eWOM) and the emergence of web 2.0 tools have influenced search and consumption behaviour when considering a purchase of a product or service. The increase in social media platforms such as facebook and travel review websites such as TripAdvisor now allow consumers to share their opinions, views, add media, and converse with other consumers online. Previous literature assessed in this research paper has focused on varied approaches in trying to decipher what factors drive decision and influence in consumers when reading online guest reviews ranging from review valence (positive vs. negative review content), numerical factors such as review score/rank and credibility of the reviewer and/or website. Specific in-review and in-profile content however has not been thoroughly investigated to the extent of how each factor rates among one another and as to what content is most important or noticed first e.g. What is the first piece of content or what part of the review profile is viewed by the consumer first? What in-review content is most important to the reader of the review? This study investigates these factors and the relevance of electronic word of mouth eWOM in the travel industry. Further to this, the effect of hotel management responses to online reviews are evaluated. Credibility of the reviewer is also assessed from a grammatical and demographical perspective, due to the limited research in this area. Finally, participants of this study were also asked to rate their trust in online reviews versus personal recommendations to challenge current literature trends in that eWOM is as equally as trustworthy as personal recommendations. The primary data was obtained with the distribution of an online questionnaire which was completed by 256 respondents. The research highlights several in-review and in-profile factors that play an important role in the consumer decision-making process and in the credibility assessment of online reviews. A key limitation of this research was that respondents are predominantly female. The researcher aimed to have a fifty-fifty split on male and female consumers but given limited access to additional male respondents in the sample set this was not possible.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Consumer Behaviour
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Specific Industries > Hospitality Industry
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Marketing
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2017 09:45
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2017 09:45
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/2917

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