Skip to main content

Electronic word-of-mouth and online reviews in tourism services: the use of twitter by tourists

Abstract

Lately, the online social media have revolutionized communications and consequently the marketing of tourism destinations and businesses. The area is rapidly evolving and the challenges and opportunities arising from it for tourism industry are already apparent. Electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM) and online reviews/recommendations are increasingly used regarding tourism services that are high involvement services. The purpose of the present study is to develop a conceptual framework for understanding the foundations of digital communication and empirically investigate its validity by examining the factors influencing the tourism consumer behavior. This study adopts a conceptual model of e-WOM and explores the use of Twitter by the tourists. Findings revealed the factors affecting tourists’ decision-making and indicated that this social medium is not a panacea; it is another marketing channel to be wisely used in integrated communications marketing of tourism services.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Airwide (2010). Airwide: Social networking and the rise of smart machines—2015AD August 2010. http://www.mobilesquared.co.uk/downloads/white-papers. Accessed 12 September 2011.

  2. Ashcraft, M. H. (2006). Cognition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bae, S., & Lee, T. (2011). Gender differences in consumers’ perception of online consumer reviews. Electronic Commerce Research, 11(2), 201–214.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bartholomew, D. J., Steele, F., Galbraith, J., & Moustaki, I. (2008). Statistics in the social and behavioral sciences series: Analysis of multivariate social science data (2nd ed.). Oxford: Taylor & Francis.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Blery, E. (2010). Customer loyalty; marketing techniques to engender loyalty among customers. Athens: Propompos Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Brown, J., Broderick, A., & Lee, N. (2007). Word of mouth communication in online communities. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 21(3), 2–20.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Buhalis, D., & Law, R. (2008). Progress in information technology and tourism management: 20 years on and 10 years after the Internet. Tourism Management, 29(4), 609–623.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Burgess, L., Parish, B., & Alcock, C. (2011). To what extent are regional tourism organisations (RTOs) in Australia leveraging the benefits of web technology for destination marketing and eCommerce? Electronic Commerce Research, 11(3), 341–355.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Carlson, N. R. (2010). Psychology: the science of behavior. New York: Pearson.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Chan, N. L., & Guillet, B. D. (2011). Investigation of social media marketing: how does the hotel industry in Hong Kong perform in marketing on social media websites? Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 28(4), 345–368.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Chapman, S., & McNeill, P. (2005). Research methods (3rd ed.). Oxon: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Chevalier, J. A., & Mayzlin, D. (2006). The effect of word of mouth on sales: online book reviews. Journal of Marketing Research, 43(3), 345–354.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Cronin, J., & Taylor, S. (1992). Measuring service quality: a reexamination and extension. Journal of Marketing, 56(1), 55–68.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. De Bruyn, A., & Lilien, G. L. (2008). A multi-stage model of word-of-mouth influence through viral marketing. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 25(3), 151–163.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Dellarocas, C. (2003). The digitization of word of mouth: promise and challenges of online feedback mechanisms. Management Science, 49, 1407–1424.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Dellarocas, C., Fan, M., & Wood, A. W. (2004). Self-interest, reciprocity, and participation in online reputation systems. Working Paper. http://ebusiness.mit.edu/research/papers/205_Dellacoras_EbayParticpation.pdf. Accessed 10 October 2011.

  17. Dwyer, P. (2007). Measuring the value of electronic word of mouth and its impact in consumer communities. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 21(2), 63–79.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Edelman, D. C. (2007). From the periphery to the core: as online strategy becomes overall strategy, marketing organizations and agencies will never be the same. Journal of Advertising Research, 47(2), 130–134.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Egger, R. & Buhalis, D. (Eds.) (2008). Etourism case studies: management and marketing issues in etourism. Oxford: Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Elliott, R., & Boshoff, C. (2009). The marketing of tourism services using the Internet: a resource-based view. South African Journal of Business Management, 40(3), 35–49.

    Google Scholar 

  21. eMarketer (2011a). http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008870. Accessed 12 February 2012.

  22. eMarketer (2011b). http://www.emarketer.com/. Accessed 12 February 2012.

  23. Eturbonews (2010). http://www.eturbonews.com/18863/twitter-may-mean-end-guidebooks. Accessed 4 October 2010.

  24. Eturbonews (2011). http://www.eturbonews.com/25870/keep-exploring-social-media-and-reputation-management-canada-s-t. Accessed: 20 October 2011.

  25. Experiment-Resources (2010). http://www.experiment-resources.com/quantitative-research-design.html. Accessed 16 September 2010.

  26. Global Advertising (2009). Consumers trust real friends and virtual strangers the most. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/global-advertising-consumers-trust-real-friends-and-virtual-strangers-the-most/. Accessed 8 September 2011.

  27. Gremler, D. D., Gwinner, K. P., & Brown, S. W. (2001). Generating positive word-of-mouth through customer-employee relationships. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 12(1), 44–69.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Gretzel, U., Yoo, K. H., & Purifoy, M. (2007). Online travel review study: Role and impact of online travel reviews (LIST 02-07-01). http://www.tripadvisor.com/pdfs/OnlineTravelReviewReport.pdf (http://www.tripadvisor.com/pdfs/OnlineTravelReviewReport.pdf). Accessed 10 October 2010.

  29. Gruen, T. W., Osmonbekov, T., & Czaplewski, A. J. (2005). eWOM: the impact of customer-to-customer online know-how exchange on customer value and loyalty. Journal of Business Research, 59(4), 449–456.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Havitz, M., & Dimanche, F. (1997). Propositions for testing the involvement construct in recreational and tourism contexts. Leisure Studies, 12, 179–195.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Helm, R., & Mark, A. (2007). Implications from cue utilisation theory and signaling theory for firm reputation and the marketing of new products. International Journal of Product Development, 4, 396–411.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Hertzum, M., Andersen, H., Andersen, V., & Hansen, C. B. (2002). Trust in information sources: seeking information from people, documents, and virtual agents. Interacting with Computers, 14, 575–599.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Hennig-Thurau, T., Gwinner, K. P., Walsh, G., & Gremler, D. D. (2004). Electronic word–of–mouth via consumer–opinion platforms: what motivates consumers to articulate themselves on the Internet? Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18(1), 38–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Hitz, M., Sigala, M., & Murphy, M. (Eds.) (2006). Information and communication technologies in tourism. Wien: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Hsieh, J.-K., Hsieh, Y.-C., & Tang, Y.-C. (2012). Exploring the disseminating behaviors of eWOM marketing: persuasion in online video. Electronic Commerce Research, 12(2), 201–224.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Hui, T.-K., Wan, D., & Hsuan-Yi Cheng, H.-Y. (2010). Case study of tourist revisit behaviour in Singapore. Advances in Hospitality and Leisure, 6, 27–42.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Jansen, B. J., Zhang, M., Sobel, K., & Chowdhury, A. (2009). Twitter power: tweets as electronic word of mouth. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(11), 2169–2188.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Ipkinternational (2011). World and European travel monitor data. http://www.ipkinternational.com/en/business-sectors/world-european-travel-monitor-data/. Accessed 16 March 2012.

  39. Kabani, S. (2010). The Zen of social media marketing: an easier way to build credibility, generate buzz, and increase revenue. Dallas: BenBella Books.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59–68.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Keng, C.-J., Liao, T.-H., & Yang, Y.-I. (2012). The effects of sequential combinations of virtual experience, direct experience, and indirect experience: the moderating roles of need for touch and product involvement. Electronic Commerce Research, 12(2), 177–199.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Kilby, N. (2007). Market shift opens door to word of mouth. Marketing Week, 30(38), 12.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Kirby, J. & Marsden, P. (Eds.) (2006). Connected marketing: the viral, buzz and word of mouth revolution. Oxford: Butterworth/Heinemann, Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2008). Principles of marketing. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Lee, H. A., Law, R., & Murphy, J. (2011). Helpful reviewers in Tripadvisor, an online travel community. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 28(7), 675–688.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Litvin, W. S., Goldsmith, E. R., & Pan, B. (2008). Electronic word-of-mouth in hospitality and tourism management. Tourism Management, 29(3), 458–468.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. López-Bonilla, J. M., & López-Bonilla, L. M. (2008). Sensation seeking and e-shoppers. Electronic Commerce Research, 8(3), 143–154.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. McColl, P. (2010). Viral explosions!: proven techniques to expand, explode, or ignite your business or brand online. Franklin Lakes: Career Press.

    Google Scholar 

  49. McDonnell, I. (2006). Etravel and tourism; marketing and management techniques. Oxford: Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Middleton, V. T. C., Fyall, A., Morgan, M., & Ranchhod, A. (2009). Marketing in travel and tourism (4th ed.). Oxford: Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Moutinho, L., Ballantyne, R., & Rate, S. (2011). The new business environment and trends in tourism. In L. Moutinho (Ed.), Strategic management in tourism (2nd ed., pp. 1–19). Oxfordshire: CAB International.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Moutinho, L., Ballantyne, R., & Rate, S. (2011). Futurecast applied to tourism. In L. Moutinho (Ed.), Strategic management in tourism (2nd ed., pp. 20–32). Oxfordshire: CAB International.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Newsweek (2012). Everyone’s hack now, Vol. CLIX (7), February 13, p. 6.

  54. Nonnecke, B., Andrews, D., & Preece, J. (2006). Non-public and public online community participation: needs, attitudes and behavior. Electronic Commerce Research, 6(1), 7–20.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Nyer, P. U. (1997). A study of the relationships between cognitive appraisals and consumption emotions. Journal of the Academy Research, 36(3), 373–386.

    Google Scholar 

  56. O’Connor, P. (2008). Online social media and travel international-September 2008-Market research report. http://oxygen.mintel.com/sinatra/oxygen/display/id=387948. Accessed 8 November 2010.

  57. Pease, W., Rowe, M., & Cooper, M. (Eds.) (2007). Information and communication technologies in support of the tourism industry. New York: Idea Group Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Plummer, J. T. (2007). Editorial: word of mouth—a new advertising discipline? Journal of Advertising Research, 47(4), 385–386.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Prebensen, N., Skallerud, K., & Chen, J. S. (2010). Tourist motivation with sun and sand destinations: satisfaction and the wom-effect. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 27(8), 858–873.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Robinson, R., Goh, T.-T., & Zhang, R. (2012). Textual factors in online product reviews: a foundation for a more influential approach to opinion mining. Electronic Commerce Research. doi:10.1007/s10660-012-9095-7.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Rong, J., Li, G., & Law, R. (2009). A contrast analysis of online hotel web service purchasers and browsers. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 28(3), 466–478.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Savolainen, R. (2007). Media credibility and cognitive authority. The case of seeking orienting information. Information Research, 12(3) paper 319. http://InformationR.net/ir/12-3/paper319.html. Accessed 12 May 2011.

  63. Sigala, M., Christou, E., & Gretzel, U. (Eds.) (2012). Social media in travel, tourism and hospitality; theory, practice and cases. London: Ashgate.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Solis, B. (2010). Defining social media 2006–2010. http://www.briansolis.com/2010/01/defining-social-media-the-saga-continues. Accessed 18 October 2011.

  65. Söderlund, M., & Rosengren, S. (2007). Receiving word-of-mouth from the service customer: an emotion-based effectiveness assessment. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 14(2), 123–136.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Soteriades, M., & Avgeli, V. (2007). Promoting tourism destinations: a strategic marketing approach. Tourism: an International Interdisciplinary Journal. 55(3), 335–345.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Stepchenkova, S., Mills, J. E., & Jiang, H. (2007). Virtual travel communities: self-reported experiences and satisfaction. In M. Sigala, L. Mich, & J. Murphy (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2007 (pp. 163–174). Wien: Springer.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  68. Sundaram, D. S., & Webster, C. (1999). The role of brand familiarity on the impact of word-of-mouth communication on brand evaluations. Advances in Consumer Research, 26, 664–670.

    Google Scholar 

  69. Trusov, M., Bucklin, E. R., & Pauwels, K. (2009). Effects of word-of-mouth versus traditional marketing: findings from an Internet social networking site. Journal of Marketing, 73(5), 90–102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Tussyadiah, I. P., & Fesenmaier, D. (2008). Marketing places through first-person stories—an analysis of Pennsylvania Roadtripper blog. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 25(3–4), 299–311.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Twitter (2010). http://www.twitter.com. Accessed 2 October 2010.

  72. Wanderlust (2011a). Using social media in destination marketing. Wanderlust report. http://www.createwanderlust.com/using-social-media-in-destination-marketing. Accessed 10 January 2012.

  73. Wanderlust (2011b). Travel marketing best practices assessment. Wanderlust report. http://www.createwanderlust.com/best-practices-assessment. Accessed 12 January 2012.

  74. William, E. (2010). ProKsumer. http://www.eduwilliam.com/?cat=31. Accessed 24 September 2011.

  75. Wunsch-Vincent, S., & Vickery, G. (2007). Participative web and user-created content: Web 2.0, wikis and social networking. Paris: OECD.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Xiang, Z., & Gretzel, U. (2009). Role of social media in online travel information search. Tourism Management, 31(2), 179–188.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Ye, Q., Law, R., & Gu, B. (2009). The impact of online user reviews on hotel room sales. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 28(1), 180–182.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  78. Yeh, Y.-H., & Choi, S. M. (2011). MINI-lovers, maxi-mouths: an investigation of antecedents to eWOM intention among brand community members. Journal of Marketing Communications, 17(3), 145–162.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Yoo, K. H., & Gretzel, U. (2009). What motivates consumers to write online travel reviews? Information Technology & Tourism, 10, 283–296.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. Zhu, F., & Zhang, X. (2010). Impact of online consumer reviews on sales: the moderating role of product and consumer characteristics. Journal of Marketing, 74(2), 133–148.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marios D. Sotiriadis.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sotiriadis, M.D., van Zyl, C. Electronic word-of-mouth and online reviews in tourism services: the use of twitter by tourists. Electron Commer Res 13, 103–124 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10660-013-9108-1

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10660-013-9108-1

Keywords

  • Electronic word-of-mouth
  • Social media
  • Twitter
  • Tourism behavior
  • Tourism services