Chapter

Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2008

pp 35-46

Use and Impact of Online Travel Reviews

  • Ulrike GretzelAffiliated withLaboratory for Intelligent Systems in Tourism Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University
  • , Kyung Hyan YooAffiliated withLaboratory for Intelligent Systems in Tourism Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University

Abstract

Consumer-generated content (CGC) is growing in importance. Especially online travel reviews written by consumers are ever more available and used to inform travel-related decisions. A Web-based survey of users of the most prominent travel review site, TripAdvisor, was conducted to investigate how other travellers’ reviews inform the trip planning process. Since current CGC statistics show generational and gender differences, the study also aimed at examining whether those carry over into the realm of travel review use. The results show that reviews are used mostly to inform accommodation decisions and are currently not used much for en route travel planning. Gender differences were found for perceived impacts of reviews, with females reaping greater benefits from using reviews, especially in terms of enjoyment and idea generation. Age differences occurred across a variety of perceptions and use behaviours. Implications for travel marketing and travel information systems design are provided.

Keywords

online travel reviews consumer generated content trip planning age differences gender differences