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ISSN: 2167-0269
Journal of Tourism & Hospitality
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Guests’ Motives to Write Positive and Negative Hotel Reviews on Trip Advisor

Karam Mansour Ghazi*

Department of Hotel Studies, The High Institute of Tourism and Hotels, King Marriot, Alexandria, Egypt

*Corresponding Author:
Ghazi KM
Lecturer, Department of Hotel Studies
The High Institute of Tourism and Hotels
King Marriot, Alexandria, Egypt
Tel: 00201007048424
E-mail: dr.karam.ghazi@gmail.com

Received Date: April 27, 2017; Accepted Date: May 11, 2017; Published Date: May 18, 2017

Citation: Ghazi KM (2017) Guests’ Motives to Write Positive and Negative Hotel Reviews on Trip Advisor. J Tourism Hospit 6: 283. doi: 10.4172/2167-0269.1000283

Copyright: © 2017 Ghazi KM. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Abstract

This study aims to examine which motives and review components drive hotel guests to write positive and negative reviews on Trip advisor. It tests the motives of writing an online review after the guest has written an online review. Respondents are only Trip advisor users who had left an online review message on Egyptian 5-star hotel services in the last year. Primary data was collected using a Web-based survey. Using regression analysis, the results concluded that there are differences between guests’ motives in creating positive reviews in comparison to negative reviews on Trip advisor. For positive reviews, only helping hotel, and social benefits were found to positively influence writing reviews on Trip advisor. Meanwhile, for negative reviews, venting negative feelings, warning other consumers and social benefits had a positive impact on writing reviews on Trip advisor. Furthermore, this study concludes that there are no differences in the effect of review components in creating positive reviews in comparison to negative reviews on Trip advisor. For both positive and negative reviews, all the seven review components are positively impact writing reviews on Trip advisor. These results enhance the understanding of what motivates guests to post hotel reviews on Trip advisor, and thus hotels can encourage or discourage these behaviours.

Keywords

WOM; e-WOM; Online review; Trip advisor

Introduction

The growth and advancement of web-based technologies such the internet and electronic mobile devices (smartphones-tablets) has enabled guests to collect, distribute, and publish their opinions, experiences, and consumption advices about hotel services online. This creates an ever-growing amount of content created by guests, commonly referred to as user-generated content. One of the most common forms of user-generated content is online review, which is described as a product or service evaluation posted on a website [1-6].

Online review has become an increasingly important due to its influence on the consumer’s final purchasing decision. This is particularly in the hospitality and tourism domain whose its intangible offerings are difficult to evaluate prior to their consumption and thus greatly dependent on the perceived image and reputation. When choosing accommodation, potential hotel guests rely on online reviews before booking a room. Primarily since online guest reviews are seen as a more valuable, credible, and up-to-date source of information to decide where to go and what to buy. They help to evaluate alternatives, reduce uncertainty in purchase situations, increase product awareness and popularity, provide ideas on travelling; help others to avoid places; help to imagine what a place will be like, and improve the probability of consumers to consider making a booking [1-21].

With regard to hotel and travel, statistics show that online reviews have become the major source of information for consumers. Statistics also show that there has been a rapid increase in the uptake and use of online reviews in the hotels and tourism sector [4,6,22]. According to Gretzel and Yoo [8], more than 74% of travelers have considered online consumer reviews to make decisions on planning their trips. According to a study conducted by PhoCus Wright, around 77% of travelers usually reference reviews before choosing or a hotel; 53% of travelers won’t commit to booking until they read reviews; about half of travelers always reference reviews before choosing a restaurant; and around 44% of travelers usually reference reviews before choosing an attraction [23]. According to ref. [24] the vast majority of travelers (93%) indicate that other people’s evaluations on travel review websites influence their travel plans. Needless to say, the research statistics imply confirm the importance and influence of online reviews on guests’ decisions in the hotels and tourism sector [4,6].

As a result online reviews are growing constantly, influencing prospective guests’ purchase decisions, allowing information to have a wide spread effect and reaching consumers all over the world. Therefore, it is crucial for hotel marketers and service providers to understand what motivates guests to write online reviews. Online review only exists if the sender is motivated to communicate it to the recipient, highlighting the importance of understanding online review motives. Consequently, the aim of this study was to examine which motives and review components drive guests to write positive and negative online reviews on Trip advisor. This study enables hotels to pursue actions that could stimulate guests’ motives to write online reviews. If hotels have a better understating about the guest, then it will be easier to motivate them to write online reviews.

Problem Statement: Research Rational and Gaps

Although online review research has been growing in recent years, there are few studies investigating guests’ motives to write positive and negative online reviews on Trip advisor in the tourism industry in general [3,25,26] and in the Egyptian hotel context in particular. In particular, the following research gaps are identified in literature:

1. Most of prior online review research has occurred mostly in developed nations. A few studies have been written in developing nations. It has not found any research that has studied guest’s motives to post on Trip advisor in the Egyptian hotel context.

2. There is a lack of research regarding the motives for posting online opinions and reviews in tourism experiences [3,25,27,28]. However, motives can be traced to other e-WOM studies outside of the tourism industry, and many of these previous studies refer to Hennig-Thurau et al. [29] study as a guideline. The results have been inconsistent and there is a lack of consensus in the findings [30-38].

3. Most of prior studies did not differentiate between motives for positive online review and for negative online reviews [37].

4. However, most of previous online review studies focused on attitude, purchase intention, purchase and eWOM adoption by customers [14,26,34,39,40], there is a lack of studies examined interrelationships between motivational factors and actual writing online reviews. The best way of testing guests’ motives is by directly confronting the creators, just after they created online review. Therefore, this study tests the motives of writing an online review after the guest has written an online review on Trip advisor. This is a main difference between current study and previous studies.

5. There is a lack of research applied to review sites such as Trip advisor.com. Many hospitality businesses make the mistake of not actively mentoring and managing guest reviews on sites like Trip advisor. Moreover, the measurement scales and findings of prior studies cannot necessarily be applied to review sites such as Trip advisor.com. It cannot automatically assume that motives are the same for all kinds of virtual communities. Except for the study of Yoo and Gretzel [27] and Molinillo et al. [6], this study is one of the first applied on Trip advisor users especially in the Egyptian context.

6. However, some studies assessed the main components of online guest reviews [6,41-47], there is no studies investigates the relationship between online review components and actual writing online reviews.

The current study fill these research gaps by measuring the effect of both guests’ motives and review components on the actual writing positive and negative reviews on Trip advisor in the Egyptian hotel context.

Aim, Objectives and Questions

This study aims to examine which motives and review components drive guests to write positive and negative online hotel reviews on Trip advisor. It measures the effect of guests’ motives and review components on the creating positive reviews in comparison to negative reviews on Trip advisor. In particular, this study aims to achieve four specific objectives as follows:

1. Measure the effect of seven motives (venting negative feelings, helping other consumers, warning other consumers, self enhancement, social benefits, helping the hotel and advice seeking) on actual writing positive and negative online content on Trip advisor.

2. Measure the effect of seven review components (cleanliness, room comfort, staff and service quality, hotel facilities (condition), location, dining, and value for the money) on actual writing positive and negative online content on Trip advisor.

3. Examine when online review is posted on review site (Trip advisor) (during or after experience).

4. Examine how online review is provided (technological devices).

In relation to these objectives, the research questions are:

1. What motives drive hotel guests to write positive and negative online reviews on Trip advisor?

2. What review components drive hotel guests to write positive and negative online reviews on Trip advisor?

3. When guests write positive and negative online hotel reviews (during or after experience)?, and

4. How guests write positive and negative online hotel reviews (technological devices)?

Literature Review

Word-of-Mouth (WOM)

WOM is defined as an “informal person-to-person communication between a perceived non-commercial communicator and receiver regarding a brand, a product, an organization or a service” [48]. WOM is the process of consumers providing information and opinions that can effect consumer’s ultimate purchasing decision and direct a consumer toward or away from a specific product or service [49]. WOM is an offline setting where marketing messages are transferred through personal mediums, circulating from person to person. The key characteristic of WOM is that the sources are independent from commercial influence. It is especially relevant when the product is characterized by experiences due to people search for recommendations to reduce their perceptions of risk. This is very essential in the hotel and tourism industry since the product is being bought prior to consumption and experiences are intangible [1,11,50].

Electronic Word-of-Mouth (e-WOM)

e-WOM is defined as “Any positive or negative statement made by potential, actual, or former customers about a product or company, which is made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the Internet” [29]. These online customers’ statements prove to be higher in credibility, empathy and relevance for customers than firms’ marketing information [51]. E-WOM can also be defined as “informal communication between consumers through the internet where information about goods, services and sellers are posted” [1]. Traditional WOM communication only had the potential to reach individuals in a consumer’s proximity, whereas e-WOM information can reach individuals all over the world because of the extensive use of the internet in the world. e-WOM communication can therefore be a powerful information source and be used within a consumer’s pre-purchase information search process, and thus have an impact on consumer’s final purchasing decision [1,29,51]. However, sometimes e-WOM called user generated content (UGC). UGC differs from e-WOM. UGC contain a slight alteration from the broader scope of e-WOM. e-WOM is all communication posted online by both consumers and companies, whereas UGC consists of e-WOM generated only by the consumer. UGC regards the actual creation of new content, whereas e-WOM is content that is conveyed by users [52].

There are several types of e-WOM media channels and each possesses different characteristics, as depicted below in Figure 1 [1,8,29,50].

tourism-hospitality-Channels

Figure 1: e-WOM Channels [1].

Online review

This is one type of information channel which is described as a product or service evaluation posted on a website [1,2,5]. Online review is often described as the most accessible and frequently used form of e-WOM [3,51]. It encompasses the act of write as well as the act of assimilates information provided by others [29]. It consists of positive or negative statements made by consumers about a product or service [52]. Online review could be considered peer-generated purchase experiences [53]. With regard to hotel and travel, statistics show that online reviews have become the major source of information for consumers. Statistics also show that there has been a rapid increase in the uptake and use of online reviews in the hotels and tourism sector [4,6,22].

There are various websites of online hotel reviews where consumers can obtain and share online information and reviews regarding products or services. These include: hotel review websites, hotel booking websites, travel websites and travel agencies, social networking websites, blogs, etc. The four main types of UGC sites that have been utilized by tourists can be categorized into the following types: social networking sites (i.e. Facebook), review sites (i.e. Trip advisor), supplier sites (i.e. hotel websites, tourism organizations), and visual content sharing sites (i.e. Flickr, YouTube) [5,54]. These websites provide consumers with positive as well as negative information about products or services, which can help consumers, make a final purchasing. On guest review websites, customers can actively influence opinions by posting comments online, on the other hand, they may passively consume information posted by others in order to develop their own purchasing decisions [4,6]. It also provides service providers with a feedback tool to monitor guest’s reactions and experiences, as well as needed improvements. Consequently, positive or negative online reviews have the power to benefit hotels or damage their image and reputation [15]. These comments can help companies to understand the needs of their customers and to undertake actions accordingly [6,7,50]. Statistics also reveals that review websites are considered the most trusted and useful sources of information when researching and planning trips and, indeed, the vast majority of travelers (93%) indicate that other people’s evaluations on travel review websites influence their travel plans [4,24].

Trip advisor

Trip advisor is the world’s largest and leading travel website of online guest reviews in the hospitality services, including lodging, dining, destinations, and attractions. It helps tourists to post their feedback online as well as plan and book the perfect trip. Trip advisor facilitates the reviewing of all hotels around the world and provides users with independent travel reviews and comments written by the members of the community [6,7,50]. Trip advisor.com reached 350 million unique visitors per month during the year, and 320 million reviews on 6.2 million accommodations, attractions, and restaurants – involving 995,000 hotels and accommodations and 770,000 vacation rentals, 3.8 million restaurants and 625,000 attractions around the world. Trip advisor is available in 46 countries worldwide and are offered in 28 languages as well as on web-based and mobile applications on mobile devices and desktops. Trip advisor has lots of free tools to help customers and properties to collect and manage reviews. Trip advisor feature price comparison tools and links to partner websites, including travel advertisers, on which users can book their travel arrangements. Furthermore, Trip advisor Business Listing is a premium listing service that enables properties to increase their exposure to the 350 million unique visitors per month. By subscribing to Trip advisor’s Business Listing, properties can efficiently manage their profiles and add their direct contact information. It makes it possible for travelers to connect directly with a property. It enables tour, activity and attraction providers to self-load their products onto Viator and now offers more than 32,000 bookable attractions around the globe. The Business Listing makes it further possible to post special offers on the property profile, in order to engage with visitors, and encourage them to make a booking without involving intermediaries. Moreover, Trip advisor Review Express used to easily send optimized review request emails. It delivers an automatic reminder and a detailed dashboard that tracks the performance of each campaign [24,25].

With regard to hotel and travel, statistics show that the number of consumers who check reviews on Trip advisor before booking a hotel has increased over time. Statistics also show that travelers are showing increased reliance on Trip advisor as a source of information for their travel plans [4,6,22]. According to a study conducted by PhoCus Wright, about 83% of travelers say Trip advisor make them more confident in their travel decision, 65% of travelers are more likely to book hotels that won a Trip advisor award, and 67% of travelers check Trip advisor a few times a month or more [23]. Given the importance and influence of Trip advisor on visitors’ decisions as well as the rapid increase in the use of Trip advisor [4,6], the hotels should embrace it as an opportunity. Rather than ignoring it. Hotels will be on Trip advisor, whether they like it or not, and thus, it is not a choice. Consequently, Trip advisor users were selected as the sample for the study.

Methodology

Theoretical model and hypotheses

Based on a thorough literature review and in response to research questions, the following framework and hypotheses have been established (Figure 2). It is expected that the seven motives and seven components all positively influence the actually writing online reviews on Trip advisor. The impact of every motive and every review component in creating online hotel guest review will be studied, for both positive and negative review. Therefore, it is expected that there some motives and components are only applicable for positive review and others only concern negative review.

tourism-hospitality-hypothesis

Figure 2: Hypothesis.

Hypothesis 1

This is to test whether there are differences in customers’ motives for writing positive online review in comparison to negative review on Trip advisor.

• H1: the seven motives are positively influence the actually writing positive and negative reviews on Trip advisor.

• Tested by Regression Analysis: H0: p?0.05 versus H1: p ≤ 0.05.

Hypothesis 2

This is to test whether there are differences in the importance of review components for writing positive online review in comparison to negative review on Trip advisor.

• H2: the seven review components are positively influence the actually writing positive and negative reviews on Trip advisor.

• Tested by Regression Analysis: H0: p>0.05 versus H2: p ≤ 0.05

Research type and approach

The objectives and hypotheses revealed that this study is primarily a descriptive-analytical study with qualitative and quantitative approaches. Furthermore, this study used deductive approach, since it explains casual relationships, develops a theory and hypotheses and then designs a research strategy to test the validity of hypotheses against the data. If the data are consistent with the hypothesis then the hypothesis is accepted; if not it is rejected. It moving works from the more general to the more specific (this call a top-down approach) [54-56].

This study used two main approaches to data collection namely; desk survey and field survey. The desk survey (literature review) forms an essential aspect of the research since it sets the pace for the development of field survey instruments using questionnaire and interview. Secondary sources of information were identified and collected in books, articles, and professional periodicals, journals and databases on the subject of the study. The field survey is involved with the collection of primary empirical data. An online survey was applied as the primary method of quantitative data collection to investigate the influence of guests’ motives and review components on writing online hotel review. The researcher used survey because it is the most convenient way to obtain relatively highest participation within a limited time frame. Also, the need for generalization in the findings influenced the choice of questionnaire survey [56-58]. The mixed data collection methods provide a way to gain in depth insights and adequately reliable statistics.

Survey

The questionnaire was designed according to the conceptual framework drawn from the extant literature. Moreover, the questionnaire was adapted and modified from previous developed scales to test motives and review components in the context of a hotelrelated review site. In particular, the final data-collection instrument consisted of three-parts:

• The first part contains questions about demographic information of the sample and three screening questions. The first screening question asked for the time respondents provide the written review on Trip advisor (during or after experience). The second asked for the technological device used in posting the review on Trip advisor (computer, laptop, tablet device, mobile phone, others). The third asked for respondents’ overall evaluation of accommodation experience in this hotel (positive or negative).

• The second part measures guests’ motives for witting positive and negative hotel review from Trip advisor users’ viewpoint. The participants were asked to indicate their level of agreement with the reasons motivated them to provide comments about a hotel service on Trip advisor, using a five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). It consists of 34 drives representing seven dimensions; self enhancement, social benefits, advice seeking, helping other consumers, helping the company, warning other consumers, and venting negative feelings . This part of questionnaire was adapted and modified from previous developed scales [29,30,37,50] to test motives in the context of a hotel-related review site. However the reliability of the constructs of these studies was sufficient for reliable results, it was not proven in other studies specified to Trip advisor as well as to positive and negative scenarios. The motivation items are adjusted to online reviews, hotel service nature and to the positive and negative experience. Some motives proposed were not applicable to the context of Trip advisor and others was added based on the context of hotel.

• The third part measures the importance of review components in writing hotel reviews from Trip advisor users’ viewpoint. Respondents were asked to rate the importance of the seven components of online guest review using a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from “most unimportant” (1) to “most important” (5). It consists of seven main components of online guest reviews; cleanliness, room comfort, staff and service quality, hotel facilities (condition), location, dining, and value for the money. The research demonstrated that the overall satisfaction of the guest’s entire hotel stay is influenced mainly by each of these seven different subcategory factors. These seven dimensions of online hotel guest reviews are identified and developed based on a content analysis of previous studies and major hotel booking agencies (Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Priceline.com, Orbitz.com and Travelocity.com) [6,41-47].

Measurement questionnaire reliability and validity

The questionnaire were rationing before distribution to the study sample to ensure the validity and reliability of paragraphs:

To verify content validity (Believe arbitrators): The first version of survey questionnaire was judged by a group of arbitrators. Interviews with four experienced people in the field of hotel marketing were done. These interviews were supplementary to the main data collection phase involving administration of a survey questionnaire to the study population. Revisions to the questionnaire were made based on feedback from the arbitrators. The researcher responded to the views of the jury and performed the necessary delete and modify in. Factors or questions with 80% approval and higher were only considered. The result was a revised version of the questionnaire with a smaller set of items. The changes made the statements more specific and easier to understand.

To verify construct validity: There are two types of analysis for determining construct validity: (1) Correlational analysis, and (2) Factor analysis [58]. The researcher calculates the construct validity of the attributes of the questionnaire by surveying it to the initial sample size of 18 respondents of the total members of the study population, and it calculates the correlation coefficients between each attribute of the questionnaire, and the total score for the domain dimension that belongs to him that attribute. The results showed that the value of the correlation coefficients of motives is ranged between 0.768 and 0.650, and is statistically significant at the level of significance (0.05). Hence, the attributes of each dimension are considered honest and valid to measure its role in posting reviews.

To verify reliability: The most popular test of inter-item consistency reliability is Cronbach’s coefficient alpha. The higher the coefficient, the better the measuring instrument [58]. The researcher conducted reliability steps on the same initial sample using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. The results illustrated that the high reliability coefficients for questionnaire attributes which ranged from 0.65 to 0.78, indicating satisfactory internal consistency. Except for the motive ‘advice seeking’ for both the positive and negative reviews. The reliability of this construct is very low (0.31). Therefore, this construct will not be used in final analysis. This means that all value coefficients is very high (Except ‘advice seeking’ motive), so it is an indicator of the validity of the study tool (questionnaire) for application in order to achieve its objectives by answering its questions. The strong internal consistency reliability for the revised scales indicated that the retained items measure the same constructs, suggesting the possibility of the stability of the results that can result from the tool. Thus, the questionnaire became valid and reliable in its final form for application to the basic study sample.

Sampling procedures

As Trip advisor is currently the most prominent and leading online travel review site, Trip advisor users were selected as the sample for the study. Particularly, respondents are only Trip advisor users who had left an online review message on Egyptian 5-star hotel services in the last year. The best way of testing guests’ motives is by directly confronting the creators, just after they created online review. This research will use the last year reviews. Because it would be difficult to get a big sample and thus significant results as well as it would be difficult to approach people immediately after the writing of online reviews.

An online questionnaire was administered during a 4-weeks period between October 1 and October 31, 2016. A total of 550 questionnaires were sent to o all Trip advisor users who had left an online review message on Egyptian 5-star hotel services in the last year. Respondents were asked to complete the survey by sending the survey link in a private message. 316 questionnaires were returned, resulting in a 57% response rate. 21 were not included because of incompleteness. The valid number of questionnaires was 295 with response rate 54%.

Ethical considerations

Each participant received a cover letter that emphasized the significance of the issue under investigation but also stressed that participation in the study was voluntary. It also ensured appreciation for participating in the research. The respondents were advised that the data collected would be used solely for the purpose to address the research topic. There were no anticipated risks to the respondents who participated in the study. The removal of any personal identifying information or data was the means to maintain confidentiality.

Data analysis

Analysis of the gathered data used the software SPSS 19.0 and Microsoft Excel 2010. The study used regression analysis which aims to exploring the relationship between the seven motives and the posting a review, as well as, the relationship between customers’ perceptions of the importance of the seven review components and posting a review. Finally, interpretation of the results was done at 5% level of significance; where the value of p≤0:05 were considered as being significant, and p≤0:01 was considered as being highly significant.

Results and Discussion

To test study hypotheses, the sample was split into positive and negative review sub-samples. For each sub-sample, Multiple Regression Analysis is used to determine the effect of every motive and review component on the writing positive and negative online reviews on Trip advisor. These results are showed in Table 1 below. The results of reliability analysis indicate the higher liability coefficients for questionnaire constructs (ranged from 0.55 to 0.68), indicating satisfactory internal consistency. This means that all value coefficients is very high, suggesting the possibility of the stability of the results that can result from the tool. The results of construct validity analysis indicate the high correlation coefficients for questionnaire attributes (which ranged from 0.73 to 0.62), and is statistically significant at the level of significance (0.05). Hence, the attributes of each dimension are considered honest and valid to measure its role in posting reviews.

When respondents were asked for the time they provide the written review on Trip advisor. Most of respondents write both positive and negative reviews during their experience (70% for positive reviews, 66% for negative reviews). This result implied that hotels and marketers should encourage and remind guests to provide reviews by promoting relationship marketing strategies during guest experience. When respondents were then asked for the technological device used in posting the review about accommodation experience on Trip advisor. Most of respondents write positive and negative reviews by using mobiles (78% for positive reviews, 74% for negative reviews). This result implied that hotels should promote hotel mobile marketing strategies and hotel mobile applications. When respondents were also asked for overall evaluation of their accommodation experience in the Egyptian 5-star hotels (positive or negative). Most of respondent posted negative review (N=175 with% 59) and the other respondents posted positive review (N=120 with 41%). This result implied that Egyptian hotels and marketers should focus more on managing online reviews by encouraging satisfied guests to post positive reviews and do their effort to eliminate and respond to negative reviews (Table 1).

Customers’ motives Positive reviewa) Negative reviewb)
Regression Regression
Mean α Beta T Sig. Mean α Beta T Sig.
1. Help other consumers 3.76 .55 0.15 1.61 .161 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
2. Warn other consumers N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 3.85 .64 0.33 3.51 .01**
3. Self enhancement 3.71 .62 0.12 1.42 0.103 3.63 .57 0.11 1.27 0.278
4. Social benefits 3.95 .68 0.32 3.45 .01** 3.88 .58 0.19 2.41 .05*
5. Helping the hotel 3.88 .65 0.38 4.31 .000** N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
6. Venting negative feelings N/A NA N/A N/A N/A 3.81 .61 0.36 4.22 .000**
Review components Positive reviewa) Negative reviewb)
Regression Regression
Mean α Beta T Sig. Mean α Beta T Sig.
1. Cleanliness, 3.92 .57 0.20 2.35 .05* 4.02 .63 0.35 4.19 .000**
2. Room comfort, 4.01 .59 0.36 4.21 .000** 3.98 .55 0.37 4.21 .000**
3. Staff and service quality, 3.85 .56 0.38 4.29 .000** 3.90 .58 0.30 3.27 .01**
4. Hotel facilities (condition) 3.70 .62 0.32 3.22 .01** 3.65 .61 0.31 3.29 .01**
5. Location, 3.74 .65 0.37 4.25 .000** 3.67 .59 0.19 2.20 .05*
6. Dining, and 3.85 .61 0.30 3.21 .01** 3.81 .64 0.32 3.30 .01**
7. Value for the money 3.45 .55 0.19 2.31 .05* 3.51 .66 0.20 2.22 .05*

Table 1: Regression analysis of guests’ motives and review components on posting positive and negative reviews on Trip advisor.

Overall, the results concluded that there are differences between customers’ motives in creating positive reviews in comparison to negative reviews on Trip advisor:

• For positive online reviews, only helping hotel, and social benefits were found to positively influence writing guest reviews on Trip advisor. The motivation for helping the hotel through postings was found to have the strongest positive impact on guests’ writing positive comments, β=0.38, p<0.000, followed by social benefits, β=0.32, p<0.01. This result partially support hypothesis 1. This result indicated that online hotel review writers are mostly motivated by helping a hotel service provider and social benefits. Therefore, these motives are clearly seen as important motives. The possible explanation may be that guests want to reward the hotel by conveying how delighted they are and why they are delighted by including factual information. The other motives (self-enhancement, and helping other consumers) were not found to influence writing positive reviews. These motives showed no significant effect on creating positive online review. Therefore, these motives are clearly not seen as important motives.

• On the other hand, for negative online reviews, only venting negative feelings, warning other consumers and social benefits had a positive effect on writing reviews on Trip advisor. The motivation for venting negative feelings was found to have the strongest positive impact on guests’ writing negative comments, β=0.36, p<0.000, followed by warning other customers, β=0.33, p<0.01, and social benefits, β=0.19, p<0.05. This result partially supports hypothesis 1. This result indicated that online hotel review writers are mostly motivated by venting negative feelings, warning other customers and social benefits through postings. Therefore, these motives are clearly seen as important motives. The possible explanation may be that guests have had a particular negative consumption experience with the hotel and want to either punish the hotel or do other consumers a favour by warning them. These negative e-messages are likely to convey how angry or unhappy the message givers are and why they are unhappy by including transaction details. The other motive (self-enhancement) was not found to influence writing negative reviews. It showed no significant effect on creating an online review. Self-enhancement through postings is clearly not seen as an important motive.

• Only social benefits were found to positively impact both positive and negative reviews. The results indicated that customers are more involved in writing an online review for social benefits. For both positive and negative content, the higher the motivation ‘social benefits’, the higher the individual’s involvement with his or her review is. Furthermore, this study concluded that there are no differences between the impacts of review components on creating positive reviews in comparison to negative reviews on Trip advisor:

• For both positive and negative online reviews, all the seven online review components were found to positively influence writing reviews on Trip advisor (p<0.05). All the seven online review components (cleanliness, room comfort, staff and service quality, hotel facilities, location, dining, and value for the money) had a significant impact/effect on posting both positive and negative reviews on Trip advisor. This result fully support hypothesis 2. This result implied that online hotel review writers are mostly motivated by all the seven review components whether for positive or negative experience. Hotel guests can post positive or negative review on one of these seven areas of the accommodation experiences. This result implied that these seven review components are clearly seen as important motives for posting review on Trip advisor whether for positive or negative experience.

• However, there is a difference in the priority ranking of components. For positive reviews, The components of staff and service quality , location, and room comfort was found to have the strongest positive impact on guests’ writing positive comments (p<0.000), followed by hotel facilities and dining (p<0.001), and then followed by cleanliness and value for money (p<0.05). This result indicated that guests who perceived staff and service quality, location, and room comfort as most important were more likely to provide positive comments on review sites (p<0.000). On the other hand, for negative reviews, the components of cleanliness, and room comfort was found to have the strongest positive impact on guests’ writing positive comments (p<0.000), followed by dining, hotel facilities, and staff and service quality (p<0.001), and then followed by value for the money, and location(p<0.005). This result indicated that guests who perceived cleanliness, and room comfort as most important were more likely to provide negative comments on review sites, (p<0.000).

Conclusion and Implications

This study did provide theoretical insights by enhancing the differences between guests’ motives to create positive reviews in comparison to negative reviews on Trip advisor. For positive online reviews, only helping the hotel and social benefits were found to positively influence writing reviews on Trip advisor. Meanwhile, for negative online reviews, only venting negative feelings, warning other consumers and social benefits had a positive impact on writing reviews on Trip advisor. This result suggests that some motives are more important and tied/with for positive reviews (helping the hotel and social benefits), and other motives are more important and tied/ with for negative reviews (venting negative feelings, warning other consumers, and social benefits). The other guest’s motives did not show significant results regarding the influence on writing online reviews. The comparison between the positive and negative reviews provided support for the hypothesis that some motives are more applicable for positive reviews and some more for negative. This result implied that guest’s motives to post positive reviews are not the same for positing negative reviews. Moreover, this result also implied that motives are not the same for all kinds of virtual communities. Therefore, it is important for future research to make a motivation distinction between positive reviews and negative reviews as well as between different types of online communities.

• This study has generated practical implications that are valuable for hotels by enabling both hotels and practitioners to better understand what motivates consumers to post positive and negative hotel reviews on Trip advisor in the first place, and thus how hotels can encourage or discourage these behaviours. This enables hotels to pursue actions that could boost (stimulate) guests’ motives to write online reviews. By understanding what drives customers to produce online reviews concerning their experiences, hotels and marketers can ensure that guests are receiving expected service while also influencing future customers with positive experiences (or engaging in service failure recoveries).

• The findings implied hotels and marketers should manage the online guest reviews by creating a medium to channel the different motives. For example, hotels can establish an official page in Facebook to promote consumer interaction and exchange of online review and enable them to interact with each other (social benefits), ask questions (advice seeking), provide tips and buying advice (helping other consumers, helping the hotel), and write product reviews on the hotel’s website. In this case, hotels and marketers will have more of a challenge to incentivize behavior that plays to a variety of motivation factors.

• Results in this study indicate that only social benefits are positively impact/influence both positive and negative reviews. For both positive and negative content, the higher the motivation social benefits, the higher the individual’s created content is. This is an interesting result for marketers to promote and integrate the use of social media in online review websites.

• Hotels and marketers should consistently monitor various UGC sites (i.e., Trip advisor) in order to stay aware of what guests may be communicating regarding the hotel service providers. Hotel and marketers should also provide feedback and respond to online reviews as it increases the positive attitude toward accommodation Customer relationship management may be implemented in providing communication to the guests who generated online reviews.

• The findings implied that hotels and marketers should encourage satisfied guests to generate online reviews about their accommodation experience. This can be done by developing hotels’ own web pages which create credibility and accessibility for customers to post their reviews. This provides hotels with a tool to understand customers’ opinions and make improvements. Also, it should be possible to write an online review in close relation to the service or the product.

• Since the growth and advancement of web-based technologies such the internet and the electronic mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), hotel management also should pay an increasing amount of attention to online marketing. Through the online guest reviews, marketers can achieve a competitive advantage by better understanding guest needs and wants and the marketplace within which they operate.

Furthermore, this study provides theoretical insights by enhancing that there are no differences in the effect of seven review components on creating positive in comparison to negative reviews. All the seven online review components (cleanliness, room comfort, staff and service quality, hotel facilities, location, dining, and value for the money) showed a significant impact on writing reviews on Trip advisor whether for positive or negative experience. By understanding these perspectives, hotel management can make adjustments in their marketing strategies by focusing more on these seven review components. Thus, hotels could get ideas from the online guests’ reviews and combine them with facility and service improvement, hence differentiating themselves from their competitors, enhancing business performance, and increasing guest loyalty.

Limitations and Future Research

• The focus of research is limited to the Egyptian 5-star hotels. Future studies might therefore focus on other countries, other hotel categories and other service types as restaurants.

• This study is limited to Trip advisor review site. The findings cannot generalize to other review sites or other social networks sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter).

• This study used the primary online quantitative questionnaire. It would be interesting future studies to use qualitative approach (i.e. face-to-face interviews) too thoroughly and deeply investigate the participants about the motives to create positive and negative online reviews.

• The motives and review components used in this study do not represent all possible measures that may be taken. The ideal number and structure of measures and dimensions could be different depending on the type of industry, the service firm, the type of online community, or the circumstances under which studies are rendered. To measure the variability among the items a factor analysis can be used to analyze the relationship between the items and to decide what items can measure the same latent factors.

• Further research can conclude how cultural differences play a role in creating content online. Motives to create online content could differ due to cultural differences. It is also interesting to study the effect of other possible moderators such the effect of individual culture or personality on writing positive and negative online reviews. Further studies may compare motives between different cultures.

• Additional research should focus on these potential limitations in order to assure the most precise results.

References

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