ognizant Communication Corporation

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & TOURISM

ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 10, NUMBER 4

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 267-281
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Information Needs in Online Social Networks

Jin Young Chung1 and Dimitrios Buhalis2

1Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
2School of Service Management, Bournemouth University, Dorset, UK

This article examines the relationship between perceived benefits and participation in an online travel community, of representative social networking sites on the Internet, to understand what actually makes actors participate in social networks. Findings reveal that three factors (information acquisition, social-psychological, and hedonic) are main benefits influencing participation and attitude towards an online travel community. In addition, the multiple regression analysis indicates that information acquisition benefits are perceived as the most important influential elements. Some of the results are found not to be consistent with the findings of previous research. This study provides tourism-related organizations with useful information on how to utilize online communities for their marketing strategy.

Key words: Social networks; Online community; Information needs

Address correspondence to Jin Young Chung, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, Francis Hall, 2261 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2261, USA. Tel: (979) 845-6583; Fax: (979) 845-0446; E-mail: jy0914@tamu.edu




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 283-295
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

What Motivates Consumers to Write Online Travel Reviews?

Kyung Hyan Yoo and Ulrike Gretzel

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

The Web provides a fertile ground for word-of-mouth communication and more and more consumers write about and share product-related experiences online. Given the experiential nature of tourism, such first-hand knowledge communicated by other travelers is especially useful for travel decision making. However, very little is known about what motivates consumers to write online travel reviews. A Web-based survey using an online consumer panel was conducted to investigate consumers' motivations to write online travel reviews. Measurement scales to gauge the motivations to contribute online travel reviews were developed and tested. The results indicate that online travel review writers are mostly motivated by helping a travel service provider, concerns for other consumers, and needs for enjoyment/positive self-enhancement. Venting negative feelings through postings is clearly not seen as an important motive. Motivational differences were found for gender and income level. Implications of the findings for online travel communities and tourism marketers are discussed.

Key words: Consumer-generated content; Travel reviews; Virtual community; Motivations to provide content

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. 297-311
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Recommendation Based on Opportunistic Information Sharing Between Tourists

Alexandre De Spindler, Moira C. Norrie, and Michael Grossniklaus

Institute for Information Systems, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland

We propose a new approach to collaborative filtering in mobile tourist information systems based on spatiotemporal proximity in social contexts. The approach is motivated by a survey of festival visitors confirming that similarities of interests extend beyond events defining specific social contexts. We show how opportunistic information sharing in mobile ad hoc networks can be used to realize decentralized collaborative filtering appropriate for mobile environments and show its equivalence to existing centralized approaches.

Key words: Mobile information system; Spatiotemporal proximity; Copresence; Social context; Opportunistic sharing; Ad hoc networks; Collaborative filtering

Address correspondence to Alexandre de Spindler, Haldeneggsteig 4/Weinbergstrasse, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland. Tel: +41 44 632 74 16; Fax: +41 44 632 18 92; E-mail: despindler@inf.ethz.ch




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 313-327
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Context-Aware Information Services to Support Tourist Communities

Federica Paganelli and Dino Giuli

Electronics and Telecommunications Department, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Several context-aware applications exist that provide tourists with location-based content delivery and interface adaptation to current activity. Our approach differs from previous ones as we consider a tourist not only as a target for content delivery, but also as a source of valuable information, useful for other tourists and service providers as well. This work describes a tourism context-aware application that provides tourists on the move with proper mobile and location-based context-aware services supporting community building and knowledge exchange. To this purpose, the application includes a context-aware instant messaging service and a tourist service provider reputation system, which supports tourists during decision-making processes. Here we describe main issues related to the design and prototype implementation of the tourism context-aware application and main results of user trials.

Key words: Context management; Web ontology language; Reputation management; Community building

Address correspondence to Federica Paganelli, National Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunications, Electronics and Telecommunications Department, University of Florence, v. S. Marta 3, Florence, Italy. Tel: +39 055 4796382; Fax: +39 055 488883; E-mail: federica.paganelli@unifi.it




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 329-353
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Online Tourism Communities on the Path to Web 2.0: An Evaluation

Birgit Dippelreiter,1 Christoph Grün,1 Michael Pöttler,1 Ingo Seidel,2 Helmut Berger,2 Michael Dittenbach,2 and Andreas Pesenhofer2

1Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
2MatrixwareTM Information Services, Vienna, Austria

In recent years a technological and sociological paradigm shift has taken place in the Internet that is often referred to as Web 2.0. Companies and individuals have started to adapt existing websites to the new standards and principles and created new types of Web services and communities. The tourism domain is no exception to this trend-new tourism communities emerged and long-established ones integrated new features to keep up with this trend. In this article we evaluate eight tourism communities with respect to Web 2.0. Each community is evaluated based on a criteria catalogue that draws ideas from online community studies. The findings are discussed in the context of the tourist life cycle that is structured in a pretrip, on-site, and after-trip phase. The value for the traveler is highlighted for each phase and potential problems are discussed.

Key words: Online communities; Web 2.0; Tourist life cycle; eTourism

Address correspondence to Birgit Dippelreiter, Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Vienna University of Technology, Favoritenstrasse 9-11/188, A-1040 Vienna, Austria. E-mail: birgit.dippelreiter@ec.tuwien.ac.at




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 10, pp. 355-373
1098-3058/08 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2008 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Collective Production of Public Goods in Online Travel Communities

Sunny Jeong

Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA

This study examines the conditions under which the collective production of public goods would likely happen and be sustained in an online tourism community. This study develops a theoretic and empirical model to incorporate social capital and technological factors of success in order to promote the collective production of public goods. This research explored both organizational and technological aspects of two online travel communities producing freely available accommodation and travel information in a collective manner. The study finding argues that conditions that facilitate and increase the capacity of social capital in online travel communities permits better understanding of the mechanisms of creating and sustaining public goods through online travel communities. It should, thus, enable a more refined model to explain how online users are retained and actively engage in online travel communities. Collective action theory, social capital, grounded theory, exchange theory, and generalized reciprocity theory are examined in this research.

Key words: Online community; Public goods; Sustainability; Motivation; Trust

Address correspondence to Sunny Jeong, Ph.D., Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 104 Huff Hall, 1206 South Fourth Street, Champaign, IL 61820, USA. Tel: 217-419-6888; Fax: 217-244-1003; E-mail: shjeong@uiuc.edu