ABSTRACT

Purpose – The objective of this research is to a) examine the effects of online reviews, posted on online distribution channels, on the change of consumers’ attitudes and booking intention by distinguishing three types of online review valence: positive, negative and neutral review valence, and b) to investigate the combined effect of the inclination of online review and perceived usefulness of reviews on consumers’ attitude change. Research design, data, and methodology – An experimental design was used by creating a mimicked hotel company’s website and online reviews extracted from several online distribution channels such as online travel agencies (OTAs). A total of 414 respondents were randomly assigned to a type of review valence. Results – The results showed that the valence of positive reviews has a significant effect on the positive change of attitude and booking intention. However, the effect of the valence of negative reviews on the change of booking intention was not statistically significant compared to that of the valence of neutral reviews. Conclusions - The results offer some insights into the effect of online reviews on consumers’ decision making processes and have important managerial implications for companies that operate online distribution channels in terms of their online marketing and the distribution of service products.

KEYWORD

Online Distribution Channel, Online Hotel Review, Review Valence, Review Usefulness, Booking Intention, Attitude Change.

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