Author: Pinthong, Chitlada
Title: Domestic tourists' perception of hotel websites in Thailand
Advisors: Law, Rob (SHTM)
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Internet users -- Thailand
Internet marketing -- Social aspects
Consumer behavior
Hotels -- Computer network resources
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xii, 204 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: With the growing trend of online global purchasers, many companies have transformed their markets from offline to online. Consumers now have more technological capabilities in searching for information and online shopping on the Internet. Hotel websites are being used as a secondary source for information searching (Rong, Vu, Law, & Li, 2012). Also, relying on online travel agents (OTA), hotels have reduced their revenue in commission fees. OTA website provides comparable price from different classes of hotel and deeply discounted price with special deals to motivate customers. As well, travelers have sharpened their purchasing behavior by finding information from reliable sources to support their decision-making before buying (Gretzel & Yoo, 2008). Hence, electronic word of mouth (eWOM) has become an important factor that influences customer purchase intention. As a result, many hotels make effort to develop their websites to attract and convert online browsers to become online buyers. Although many researchers have studied the evaluation of website quality, few studies have focused on online users' perception; in particularly, in Thailand, a major tourism destination in Asia. Therefore, the main research question of this study focus on how do online users' perceptions of hotel websites influence purchase intention. Drawing from relevant studies, this study empirically tests a theoretical model of hotel websites in an attempt to understand how online users perceive the importance of hotel websites in regards to influencing purchase intention, within the content of Thai online users. There are three determinants, namely, functionality, usability and eWOM were investigated to understand the perception of online users towards hotel websites. Customer satisfaction is found to have a mediating effect. eWOM has expected to have a direct effect on purchase intention, while the data from this study draws upon 450 Thai respondents who have visited hotel websites in Thailand within past 12 months. A self-administered, online survey with convenience sampling was utilized to collect the data in Bangkok. Reliability and validity of the measurement scales are presented through average variance extracted (AVE), inter-correlated analyses, and construct reliability. Also, structural equation modeling (SEM) by AMOS 24.0 with maximum likelihood estimation is applied to test the relationships among website functionality, usability, eWOM, customer satisfaction and purchase intention. The results of the study suggest as follows: (1) the perception of functionality has a statistically insignificant on Thai online users' satisfaction; (2) usability positively influences Thai online users' satisfaction; (3) eWOM has a significant positive and direct influence on the level of satisfaction but the perception of eWOM has an indirect effect on intention to purchase; (4) online users' satisfaction positively affects purchase intention. Additionally, the results of this study can benefit hotel academics and practitioners to more understand customers' perspective on hotel websites so that hotels can appropriately allocate more resources to develop websites to meet customer needs.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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