Elements of Online Hotel Reviews for Spring Break Vacations: An Experimental Design Study

Lina Xiong, Marshall University
Clark Hu, Temple University

This paper includes a supplemental slide presentation with the title “Examining elements of online hotel reviews for spring break vacations: An experimental design study. Copyright © 2010 the authors. All rights reserved.


User generated contents (UGCs) such as online reviews and word-of-mouth (WOM) play a significant role in consumers’ decision making process. Especially for services that are often intangible and cannot be evaluated before consumption, consumers tend to rely on other customers’ experiences to lower the risk and uncertainty in purchases. With the proliferation of online reviews in many online travel businesses such as Expedia.com and Tripadvisor.com, consumers increasingly search and browse information online before making travel-related decisions. Facing a large number of UGCs available online, hotel managers must realize that savvy consumers are technologically empowered to collect useful intelligence and that the market becomes more transparent than ever. Whether complaining customers are right or wrong is largely irrelevant, what matters more is how potential customers perceive information sources such as online reviews and how this perception impacts on their purchase intention or even decisions.