ognizant Communication Corporation

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & TOURISM

ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 10, NUMBER 2

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 101-118
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

An Analysis of Travel Information Searching on the Web

Bernard J. Jansen,1 Christopher C. Ciamacca,1 And Amanda Spink2

1College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
2Faculty of Information Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

In this article, the phenomenon of searching for travel information on the Web is reported. The issues of how predominant travel searching is on the Web, how people are searching for travel information on the Web, and what terms people are using to express their travel-related information needs are investigated. In this research, 2,465,145 interactions from 534,507 users of the commercial Web search engine, Dogpile.com, on May 6, 2005 are analyzed employing both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Findings show that, at most, approximately 6.5% of Web queries are for travel searching. Geographical information accounts for nearly 50% of this travel searching, with general travel information accounting for just less than 10%. An analysis of individual terms in travel queries shows there is substantial searching for travel-specific websites such as mapquest, travelocity, and orbitz. Travel searchers appear to target specific events, again showing a strong geographical bias along with a temporal component of the underlying information intent. The distribution of travel topics is skewed, with several topics being "very focused" and others being "very general." A classification scheme for travel-related Web queries was developed, which should be helpful for other researchers in the online travel searching area. The implications for both content providers of travel information and for searchers of travel information on the Web are discussed.

Key words: Web search engines; Web searching; Travel searching; Travel queries; Travel searching terms; Travel information search; Travel query terms

Address correspondence to Bernard J. Jansen, College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, 329F IST Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA. E-mail: jjansen@acm.org




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 119-131
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

A Comparative Study of Information Needs of City Travelers in Europe

Alexandra Wolk1 and Karl W. Wöber2

1Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria
2Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, MODUL University Vienna, Austria

This article focuses on understanding users' interests in European cities based on log file analysis of keywords entered by users on www.visiteuropeancities.info. It applies various text analysis steps in order to extract significant patterns from the queries made by the users. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) is used for constructing a map of similarities based on the unaided responses gained from the users' information requests. Multiple regression analysis between the most frequently used terms entered by the users and the geometrical representation generated by the MDS provides additional insights in the semantics defining competitive differences between 32 city break destinations in Europe. Findings comprise information on cities that can be considered as kindred in regard to the information demanded by the users of the Web portal. As it becomes clear in which areas cities are perceived as similar, this findings can be used by city (tourism) managers in order to revise their communication plan regarding their own city if desired.

Key words: Web usage mining; Log file analysis; Multidimensional scaling (MDS); City tourism; Domain-specific search portal

Address correspondence to Karl W. Wöber, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, MODUL University Vienna, Austria. E-mail: karl.woeber@modul.ac.at




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 133-146
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The Influence of Perceived Credibility on Preferences for Recommender Systems as Sources of Advice

Kyung Hyan Yoo and Ulrike Gretzel

Laboratory for Intelligent Systems in Tourism, Department of Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, USA

Recommender systems promise to support travelers in complex decision-making processes; however, whether a recommendation is seen as credible advice and actually taken into account not only depends on travelers' perceptions of the recommendation but also of the system as the advice giver. A scale to measure recommender system credibility was developed and tested. The results confirm that credibility has two dimensions: expertise and trustworthiness. Further, significant gender differences in credibility perceptions were found. The findings also indicate that respondents prefer humans as recommendation sources and that this preference is influenced by perceptions of lack of credibility of recommender systems as well as gender-specific preferences. Implications for future research and for recommender system design are discussed.

Key words: Recommender systems; Credibility; Expertise; Trustworthiness; Recommendation source preference; Gender differences

Address correspondence to Ulrike Gretzel, Laboratory for Intelligent Systems in Tourism, Department of Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2261 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2261, USA. Tel: +1-979-862-4043; Fax: +1-979-845-0446; E-mail: ugretzel@tamu.edu




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 147-159
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Web Service-Based Meta-Search for Accommodations

Jürgen Dorn,1 Peter Hrastnik,2 Albert Rainer,2 and Peter Starzacher3

1Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, E-Commerce Group, Vienna University of Technology, Wien, Austria
2E-Commerce Competence Center (ec3), Wien, Austria
3Tiscover AG, Innsbruck, Austria

Information about available hotel rooms can be found in many different sites today. However, the problem is that first, a tourist does not know which site to access and second, if he/she finds certain sites, how to compare the results of these sites. We describe an advanced meta-search engine designed to search for available accommodation in different search portals. The engine can be accessed from different platforms such as Internet browser, public multimedia Internet terminals, or mobile devices such as PDAs or cell phones. The engine is applied in two different scenarios: a destination management system uses the meta-search to bundle the services of different search engines for a certain tourism destination, or a service provider offers a mobile solution to its clients, where dependent on the position of the mobile client or other context attributes, an accommodation is searched for nearby. The solution is based on Web service interfaces to the individual search engines and the meta-search again is deployed as a Web service to enable the easy integration into other applications. This also supports the implementation for different client platforms, because only the presentation layer has to be adapted. The system solves problems of different representational concepts in different used search engines. The engine includes geographical services such as geo-coding or map representation delivered by external providers. Because the search engines use different data, different geographic concepts, and different granularities of knowledge, we use a domain ontology to translate between concepts.

Key words: Meta-search; Service-oriented architecture; Web services; Search for accommodation

Address correspondence to Jürgen Dorn, Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, E-Commerce Group, Vienna University of Technology, Favoritenstr. 9-11, A-1040 Wien, Austria. E-mail: juergen.dorn@ec.tuwien.ac.at




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 161-172
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Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Hotel Yield Management Practices Across Multiple Electronic Distribution Channels

Peter O'Connor1 and Jamie Murphy2

1Institute de Management Hotelier International (IMHI), Essec Business School, France
2The University of Western Australia Business School, Perth, Australia

In the hotel sector, yield management traditionally balances a supply of perishable room nights against demand by manipulating price and time of consumption. While widely accepted, Internet-based distribution channels with different cost structures complicate the process. Hotels must not only manipulate price in response to supply and demand, but must also choose which portfolio of distribution channels to use. This study investigates whether up-market European hotels use three yield management practices: varying room rates with market demand; varying participation in Internet channels with market demand; and differentiating rates on Internet channels in times of high demand. Introducing the concept of a consumer price index for hotel rates, the study found that while one quarter use the first technique, use of the two other practices was considerably lower, suggesting a lack of sophisticated yield management among participants.

Key words: Hotels; Yield management; Multichannel electronic distribution; Intermediaries

Address correspondence to Peter O'Connor, Ph.D., Institute de Management Hotelier International (IMHI), Essec Business School, Cergy Pontoise Cedex, 95021, France. Tel: +33 1 3443 3177; Fax: +33 1 3443 1701; E-mail: oconnor@essec.fr




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 173-180
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

RESEARCH NOTE
Podcasting and Tourism: An Exploratory Study of Types, Approaches, and Content

Philip Feifan Xie1 and Alan A. Lew2

1Sport Management, Recreation and Tourism Division, School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA
2Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA

This research note explores the current issue of using podcasting as a resource for tourism marketing. It investigates the websites of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVB) in US cities for the use of podcasting to promote tourism. The findings show that only five CVBs currently use the technology of podcasting and the application is varied in form, approach, and content. Many more travel and destination podcasts exist separate from CVB sponsorship. The conclusions suggest that podcasting will become an important marketing tool for tourist destinations and merits study by tourism researchers and practitioners.

Key words: Podcasting; Podcast; iPod; Tourism; Marketing; Convention and visitors bureaus

Address correspondence to Philip Feifan Xie, Ph.D, Sport Management, Recreation and Tourism Division, School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA. Tel: 1-419-372-6910; Fax: 1-419-372-0383; E-mail: pxie@bgnet.bgsu.edu