The Role of Culture on Online Search Behaviour: A Comparative Study Between British and Chinese Travellers
This study explores the role of culture and its impacts on travellers’ online information search behaviour. The study is focused on two culturally diametric countries: United Kingdom and China (Hofstede, Psychology and Culture, 2(1), 2011) and they have been selected as case studies, representing values from the Western and the Asian cultures. The research adopted a qualitative approach, and data was collected through interviews in order to enhance the understanding on the subject studied. Findings indicate that culture influences considerably the travellers’ behaviour in the online environment, and as a result of this influence, different behavioural patterns between the British and the Chinese travellers emerged. Conclusions discuss the implications for marketers aiming at the British and the Chinese tourists, and they highlight the need to adopt different strategies in designing and promoting their tourism products for these two particular markets.
KeywordsOnline search behaviour Culture e-Tourism Online decision making
- China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). (2014). Statistical report on Internet Development in China [Online]. Available at: http://www1.cnnic.cn/IDR/ReportDownloads/201411/P020141102574314897888.pdf
- Cisco. (2014). Cisco connected World Technology Report [Online]. Available at: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/enterprise/connected-world-technology-report/index.html
- Cyr, D., Head, M., Larios, H., & Pan, B. (2009). Exploring human images in website design: A multi-method approach. MIS Quarterly, 33(3), 539–566.Google Scholar
- Engel, J., Blackwell, R., & Miniard, P. (1995). Consumer behaviour (8th ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Dryden.Google Scholar
- Fesenmaier, D. R., Cook, S., Sheatsley, D., & Patkose, M. (2009). Travellers’ use of the Internet: 2009 Edition (p. 70). Washington, DC: Travel Industry Association.Google Scholar
- Gursoy, D., & Chi, C. G. (2008). Travellers’ information search behaviour. In H. Oh & A. Pizam (Eds.), Handbook of hospitality marketing management (pp. 266–295). Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Hall, R. M. (1976). Beyond culture. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
- Hall, R. M. (1990). Understanding cultural difference. Boston, MA: Intercultural Press.Google Scholar
- Hofstede, G. (1991). Cultures and organizations. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
- Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviours, institutions, and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensionalizing cultures: The Hofstede model in context. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 2(1) [Online]. doi: 10.9707/2307-0919.1014 (Accessed 15 April 2015).
- Hofstede, G., & Hofstede, G. J. (2005). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind: Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
- International Relations and Security Network (ISN). (2012). China, corporations and Internet censorship [Online]. Available at http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Articles/Special-Feature (Accessed 11 March 2015).
- Internet World Stats. (2015). Available at: http://www.internetworldstats.com/
- Iresearch. (2012). A research report on the Chinese online travellers’ behaviours in 2012. [Online]. Available at http://www.iresearch.com.cn/ (Accessed 17 January 2015).
- Itim International. (2015a). National culture [Online]. Available at http://geert-hofstede.com/national-culture.html (Accessed 15 March 2015).
- Itim International. (2015b). What about China? [Online]. Available at http://geert-hofstede.com/china.html (Accessed 20 April 2015).
- Itim International. (2015c). What about the UK? [Online]. Available at http://geert-hofstede.com/united-kingdom.html (Accessed 20 April 2015).
- Jordan, E. J., Norman, W. C., & Vogt, C. A. (2012). A cross-cultural comparison for online travel information search behaviours. Tourism Management Perspectives, 6(1), 15–22.Google Scholar
- Keegan, W., & Schlegelmilch, B. (2001). Global marketing management (6th ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
- Kralisch, A., Eisend, M., & Berendt, B. (2005). Impact of culture of Website navigation behaviour. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 22–27), Las Vegas, July. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Krawczyk, K. (2015, July 3). Google is easily the most popular search engine, but have you heard who’s in second? Digital Trends [Online]. Available at http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/google-baidu-are-the-worlds-most-popular-search-engines/ (Accessed: 22 April 2015).
- Mack, N., Woodsong, C., MacQueen, K. M., Guest, G., & Namey, E. (2005). Qualitative research methods: A data collector’s field guide. Durham, NC: Family Health International.Google Scholar
- Marcos, M. C., Garcia-Gavilanes, R., Bataineh, E., & Pasarin, L. (2013). Cultural differences on seeking information: An eye tracking study [Online]. Available at http://repositori.upf.edu/bitstream/handle/10230/20943/CHI_mcmarcos.pdf?sequence=1 (Accessed 28 April 2015).
- Nielsen, J. (2014). Millennials: Much deeper than their Facebook pages [Online]. Available at http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/millennials-much-deeper-than-their-facebook-pages.html (Accessed 6 December 2014).
- Office for National Statistics (ONS). (2014). Internet access – Households and individuals 2014 [Online]. Available at http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_373584.pdf (Accessed 5 March 2015).
- Peng, H., Xu, X., & Chen, W. (2013). Tourist behaviours in online booking: A new research agenda. Communications in Information Science and Management Engineering, 3(6), 280–285.Google Scholar
- SE1 Media Ltd. (2015). Key trends in online customer behaviour: Experience driven content strategies [Online]. Available at http://thinkdigital.travel/opinion/key-trends-in-online-customer-behaviour-experience-driven-content-strategies/ (Accessed 25 January 2015).
- Topi, H., & Tucker, A. (Eds.). (2014). Computing handbook: Information systems and information technology (3rd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Vyncke, F., & Brengman, M. (2010). Are culturally congruent websites more effective? An overview of a decade of empirical evidence. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 11, 14–29.Google Scholar