Assessing Structure of Online Channel Use by American Travellers

Conference paper


Understanding the use of online channels for travel planning is one of the most important challenges facing destination marketing organizations (DMOs). The results of this study found that travellers tend to use a small number of online channels and that there is a strong hierarchical pattern in their use. The results also indicated that the use of online channel could help to distinguish four groups of travellers who differ in terms of demographic characteristics, information searching, product purchasing behaviour and trip expenditures. These findings provide an essential guidance regarding potential strategies for designing and implementing an effective communication programs with prospective travellers.


Online channels Guttman scale Structure Media repertoire 


  1. Beritelli, P., Bieger, T., & Laesser, C. (2007). The impact of the internet on information sources portfolios. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 22(1), 63–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bieger, T., & Laesser, C. (2004). Information sources for travel decisions: Toward a source process model. Journal of Travel Research, 42(4), 357–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Buhalis, D., & Law, R. (2008). Progress in information technology and tourism management: 20 years on and 10 years after the internet—the state of eTourism research. Tourism Management, 29(4), 609–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Edwards, A. L. (1957). Techniques of attitude scale construction. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  5. Ekinici, Y., & Riley, M. (1999). The application of the Guttman scaling procedure in the measurement of consumer behavior: A marketing myopia. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 8, 25–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fesenmaier, D. R., Vogt, C. A., & Stewart, W. P. (1993). Investigating the influence of welcome center information on travel behavior. Journal of Travel Research, 31, 47–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fesenmaier, D. R., Xiang, Z., Pan, B., & Law, R. (2011). A framework of search engine use for travel planning. Journal of Travel Research, 50(6), 587–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gothwal, V. K., Wright, T. A., Lamoureux, E. L., & Pesudovs, K. (2009). Guttman scale analysis of the distance vision scale. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 50(9), 4496–4501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gretzel, U. (2006). Consumer generated content–trends and implications for branding. E-review of Tourism Research, 4(3), 9–11.Google Scholar
  10. Gretzel, U. (2010). Travel in the network: Redirected gazes, ubiquitous connections and new frontiers. In M. Levina & G. Kien (Eds.), Post-global network and everyday life (pp. 41–58). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  11. Gretzel, U., Fesenmaier, D. R., & O’Leary, J. T. (2006). The transformation of consumer behavior. In D. Buhalis & C. Costa (Eds.), Tourism business frontier (pp. 9–18). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gretzel, U., Hwang, Y.-H., & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2012). Informing destination recommender systems design and evaluation through quantitative research. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 6(4), 297–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Guttman, L. L. (1950). The basis of scalogram analysis. In S. A. Stouffer, et al. (Eds.), Measurement and prediction. Princeton, New Jeresy: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hasebrink, U. & Popp, J. (2006). Media repertoires as a result of selective media use. A conceptual approach to the analysis of patterns of exposure. Communications, 31(3), 369–387.Google Scholar
  15. Hsieh, S., & O’Leary, J. T. (1993). Communication channels to segment pleasure travelers. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 2(2/3), 57–75.Google Scholar
  16. Hwang, Y.-H., Gretzel, U., Xiang, Z., & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2006). Information search for travel decisions. In D. R. Fesenmaier, K. Wöber, & H. Werthner (Eds.), Destination recommendation systems: Behavioral foundations and applications (pp. 3–29). Wallingford, UK: CABI.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hyde, K. F. (2007). Contemporary Information search strategies of destination-naïve international vacationers. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 21(2–3), 63–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Janiszewski, C., Kuo, A., & Tavassoli, N. T. (2013). The influence of selective attention and inattention to products on subsequent choice. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(6), 1258–1274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jun, S., Vogt, C., & MacKay, K. (2007). Relationships between travel information search and travel product purchase in pretrip contexts. Journal of Travel Research, 45(3), 266–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jun, S., Vogt, C., & MacKay, K. (2010). Online information search strategies: A focus on flights and accommodations. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 27(6), 579–595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Leung, D., Law, R., van Hoof, H., & Buhalis, D. (2013). Social media in tourism and hospitality: A literature review. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 30(1–2), 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McIver, J., & Carmines, E. (1981). Unidimensional scaling. Beverly Hills and London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  23. Menzel, H. (1953). A new coefficient for scalogram analysis. Public Opinion Quarterly, 17, 268–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. O’Connor, P. (1999). Electronic information distribution in tourism and hospitality. Wallingford, UK: CABI.Google Scholar
  25. Pan, B., & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2006). Online information search: Vacation planning process. Annals of Tourism Research, 33(3), 809–832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pan, B., MacLaurin, T., & Crotts, J. C. (2007). Travel blogs and their implications for destination marketing. Journal of Travel Research, 46(1), 35–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Park, S., Wang, D., & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2011). Assessing structure in American online purchase of travel products. Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research, 22(3), 401–417.Google Scholar
  28. Reagan, J. (1996). The repertoire of Information sources. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 40(1), 112–121.Google Scholar
  29. Roehl, W. S. (1990). Travel agent attitudes toward China after Tiananmen Square. Journal of Travel Research, 29, 16–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stouffer, S., Guttman, L., Suchman, E., Lazarsfeld, P., Star, S., & Clausen, J. (1950). Measurement and prediction. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Taneja, H., Webster, J.G., Malthouse, E.C. & Ksiazek, T.B. (2012). Media consumption across platforms: Identifying user-defined repertoires. New Media & Society, 14(6), 951–968.Google Scholar
  32. Tussyadiah, I. P. (2012). A concept of location-based social network marketing. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 39(3), 205–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. USTA. (2010). Travelers’ use of the internet. Washington, D.C: Travel Industry Association of America.Google Scholar
  34. USTA. (2011). Travelers’ use of the internet. Washington, D.C: Travel Industry Association of America.Google Scholar
  35. Wang, D., & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2013). Transforming the travel experience: The use of smartphones for travel. In L. Cantoni & Z. Xiang (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2013 (pp. 58–69). Vienna, Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wolfe, K., Hsu, C., & Kang, S. (2004). Buyer characteristics among users of various travel intermediaries. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 17(2/3), 51–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Xiang, Z., & Gretzel, U. (2010). Role of social media in online travel information search. Tourism Management, 31(2), 179–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Xiang, Z., Wöber, K., & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2008). Representation of the online tourism domain in search engines. Journal of Travel Research, 47(2), 137–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Laboratory for Tourism and eCommerce, School of Tourism and Hospitality ManagementTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations