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Understanding Leisure Travellers' Online Hotel Selection and Behaviour.

Chen, Meng-Mei. (2009) Understanding Leisure Travellers' Online Hotel Selection and Behaviour. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Selecting a hotel at which to stay can be a complex process, especially for leisure travellers. At the same time, an increasing number of such customers are using the internet to both search for and select hotels. Hence the purpose of this research is to model the leisure traveller's online hotel selection process. Whilst hospitality researchers (Lewis, 1984; Callan, 1998; Lockyer, 2002) have identified important attributes that may be used in hotel selection process, none has ever verified these findings with actual hotel selection behaviours. Similarly previous hospitality e-commerce researchers have focused on website design and quality, evaluating web site performance, intention to purchase from a website, but have not examined online hotel selection behaviours. This investigation is grounded on the consideration set and the choice set concepts (Wright and Barbour, 1977). Through experimental observation of online hotel selection behaviours, the consideration set, the choice set, and the attributes used in the decision process were identified. The average size of the consideration set and the choice set were 33.9 and 4.1, respectively. The average numbers of attributes used in forming the consideration set and the choice set were 3.3 and 2.6, respectively. The attributes used in forming the choice set were conditional to the attributes used in forming the consideration set. The heuristics used in forming the consideration set were elimination-by-aspects and conjunctive, but the heuristics used in forming the choice set could not be identified. In order to compare the results of this experimental study with previous research, the same respondents were also asked to undertake conjoint analysis - a methodology used in prior studies (Wong and Lam, 2001; Ding, et al., 2001; Koo, et al., 1999). The five attributes researched - in order of importance -were brand, star-ratings, price, location, and review. This alternative approach to researching hotel selection was found to produce different and inferior results when compared with the findings of the main study. This research provides the first empirical evidence of the existence of the consideration set and the choice set in the online hotel selection process, as well as their characteristics. It identified attributes used in the decision making process. It also develops operational definitions of the consideration set and the choice set suitable for online selection research. Finally it examines the influences of website attributes, such as reviews and comparison, on decision making.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Chen, Meng-Mei.
Date : 2009
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2009.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 30 Apr 2019 08:08
Last Modified : 20 Aug 2019 15:33
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/851483

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