TOURISM - An International Interdisciplinary Journal
Volume 66 / 2018 / Number 1 ISSN 1332-7461
Amateur versus professional online reviews: Impact on tourists' intention to visit a destination
Online reviews are now a major source of information for tourists to reduce the perceived risks when selecting intangible brand services. Online reviews generated by different types of writers and distributed via different platforms have become an indispensable source of information for tourists. This study examines the relative effect of online reviews written by amateurs and professionals on tourists' intention of visiting a new destination. A composite behavior model incorporating both attitude and affect constructs is used to compare the influence of the two types of online reviews on tourists' behavioral intentions. Trust and curiosity are proposed as mediating variables for explaining the different intentions of visiting a tourist destination after reading the different types of reviews.
Respondents were asked to read genuine online reviews about Macau written by either amateur or professional reviewers and then complete a questionnaire. A path analysis using structural equation modeling was performed. Empirical results suggest that the influences of reviews by professionals are stronger than those by amateurs on tourists' behavioral intention of visiting a destination. Furthermore, trust and curiosity in a destination are important mediating variables affecting tourists' behavioral intention. These conclusions provide useful theoretical support for the suggestion given to destination management organizations regarding the utilization of professional reviews to improve tourists' intention of visiting the attractions at the sites.
online review; trust; curiosity; tourists'' behavior; visit intention; Macau China
Articles in this issue:
- Who relies on mobile payment systems when they are on vacation? A segmentation analysis (6-18)
- Evaluation of brand identity of Bulgaria as a tourist destination (19-34)
- Amateur versus professional online reviews: Impact on tourists' intention to visit a destination (35-51)
- The quality of web communication by Italian tourist ports (52-62)
- Engaging consumers in the digital era: An analysis of official tourism Facebook pages in India (63-77)
- Perspectives of greening tourism development – the concepts, the policies, the implementation (78-88)
- VFR travel generated by international students: The case of Japanese students in Australia (89-103)
- Second homes vs. residential tourism: A research gap (104-108)