Interview study of online travel reviews and their impact on a person’s decision making process
Abstract: In the past people sought for information via libraries, travel magazines or were inspired by marketing the travel agency made in order to attract consumers. Before the Internet era one way communication was the right way to follow. Since Internet was developed two ways communication has evolved and people can talk to each other worldwide. The development of the two ways communication has created a travel website where people can share and spread their opinions. Today people search for the most satisficing travel choice which makes more than one destination alternative selectable. The online reviews may extend or reduce an alternatives lifetime in the decision process. The online reviews are important factors in a person’s decision therefore the aim with this thesis is to investigate and evaluate how and if these online reviews affect a person’s decision-making process. The issue is based on what people think about online reviews, why they use them, how strong impact electronic word of mouth have against word of mouth, to the extent to which online reviews are used in a potential customers decision making. To obtain a result of the study, interviews with a focus group and a number of semistructured interviews have been conducted. The result highlights the dominance online reviews have on a person's choice. The participants in the paper believe that online reviews are good to rely on to get broad information and that they affect one. Participants, however, say that online reviews do not affect the final outcome but can affect the details of the arranged trip.
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