Most research on user-generated content (UGC) has focused on readers of comments and reviews. However, very little research is aimed at profiling travelers based on the extent to which their decisions regarding the choice of hotels are influenced by UGC. This research was therefore carried out to profile tourists based on the extent to which their choices of hotels are influenced by different types of peer-to-peer applications, while also considering their socio-demographic characteristics, frequency of travel, and motivations for using the Internet and UGC when making their travel choices. For this purpose, latent class segmentation was applied on a sample of 607 Italian tourists, and three clusters were identified: "digitally passive tourists", "focused tourists", and "social tourists". Wald and Chi-square tests revealed significant differences among the three clusters based on all the variables considered in the study. Its findings suggest that hospitality marketers should run their social media strategy by focusing their attention on Travel 2.0 applications according to the socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics of their target market. Contributions to the body of knowledge and suggestions for further research are given.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2015|
- Hotel selection
- Latent segmentation analysis
- Socio-demographic characteristics
- Travel 2.0 applications
- User-generated content