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The Impact of Online Reviews on the Choice of Holiday Accommodations

  • Katia Laura Sidali
  • Holger Schulze
  • Achim Spiller

Abstract

In order to reduce information asymmetries in the tourist industry, consumers refer to multiple information sources. Among these, e-reviews are supposed to better reflect quality of information because they are based on consumers’ past experiences. The first purpose of this study is therefore to test within an experimental design whether e-reviews have a predominant or a complementary role on consumer behaviour in comparison with other sources of information (hotel rating system, travel guides and recommendations of travel agents). As expected, e-reviews are the most referential information source. We further use a causal model in order to detect the determinants of trust in e-reviews, and we can show that perceived expertness of e-reviews, credibility of the e-platform and brand familiarity explain more than 60% of trust in e-reviews. The final part of the analysis is dedicated to our third research purpose which is the measurement of the impact of trust in e-reviews on choice of accommodations. A significant and positive influence can be demonstrated. Hence, scientific and managerial implications are discussed.

Keywords

e-reviews experimental design e-WOM information asymmetry trust 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katia Laura Sidali
    • 1
  • Holger Schulze
    • 1
  • Achim Spiller
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GöttingenGermany

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