Internet and User Generated Content (UGC) has reshaped the way people plan for, buy and consume tourist products, thus putting into question the very role of traditional travel agencies. Using a sample of 1,448 Italian tourists, this research finds that significant differences do exist between occasional, moderate and frequent online buyers, based on gender, age, education level and income, their online purchase experience and their likelihood to be influenced by UGC in their final choices. Results also highlight that the internet is used most frequently when people make hotel reservations for both short-haul and short-term leisure travel. From a theoretical perspective, this research provide further insight into the scientific debate on disintermediation for booking hotel rooms, showing that differences based on the cultural background do exist and should be investigated via cross-cultural comparison, also considering the relative power in influencing the tourist’s choices that UGC have with respect to information delivered by travel agencies. Further, managerial implications, limitations and future directions are also discussed.
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|Titolo:||Internet versus travel agencies: the perception of different groups of Italian online buyers|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|