Author: Lei, Kong Simon
Title: Constructing a model for functionality evaluation of the mobile version of hotel websites
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Hotels -- Computer network resources
Mobile computing -- Programming
Web sites -- Evaluation
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: x, 165 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Over the last decade, many hotels have gradually launched the mobile presence of their official websites in response to the rapid growing smartphone and tablet users worldwide. Prior empirical studies and theoretical models in the field of hotel website evaluation are abundant. The existing theoretical models, however, do not apply specifically to the functionality evaluation of the mobile version of hotel websites. Functionality refers to the richness and completeness of web contents for the benefits of customers. The mobile version of a website is different from the desktop version of the website due to a number of characteristics of mobile technologies: 1) reduced computing power, 2) smaller screen size, 3) portrait and landscape orientations, 4) lower Internet speed, and 5) shorter battery life. The mobile version of a hotel website is a new development separated from its desktop version counterpart, and thus the criteria for its functionality evaluation have to be revisited. This research attempts to fill in the research gap by adapting an established theoretical model (Chung & Law, 2003; Leung, Law, & Lee, 2016) into a new model customized for hotel mobile websites. As a result, the functionality performance of various mobile websites is calculated, using a composite weighted score known as the performance indicator. This study has included all the member hotels in the Hong Kong Hotels Association, totaling 136 samples. Mobile-friendly websites are included in this study, whereas smartphone apps are excluded. A mixed approach is adopted in the research design, and it is divided into two phases: 1) focus group, followed by 2) direct evaluation and computation. Three rounds of focus group discussions were conducted in June 2017, from which the new evaluation instrument for functionality evaluation of mobile hotel websites was created. There were a total of 6 dimensions and 37 attributes generated in the evaluation instrument, with weights assigned to each attribute and dimension. Secondary data were collected in November and December 2017, and it resulted in 121 valid samples. Direction evaluation was applied for the calculation of the scores of each mobile hotel website. Comparisons of means on the scores, using t-tests and ANOVA, were performed across different types of hotels. Types include independent properties versus chain hotels and hotel star ratings. Findings showed that there was a significant difference between the group means of three-star hotels and four-star hotels. It was also true for three-star and four-and-half-star hotel websites, so was for three-star and five-star hotel websites. For other pairs, no significant difference was found. In addition, statistical analyses showed that the chain hotels performed significantly better than independent hotels in terms of the mean scores. Both academic contributions and practical implications of this study are explained. Top-and bottom-performing hotel websites were illustrated (with top score 89 and bottom score 31). The major contribution of this study was that it introduced new dimensions and attributes for the functionality evaluation of hotel websites in the mobile computing era. The study also found that a large number of hotel websites were not optimized for mobile devices. Finally, limitations of this study were addressed and future research directions were discussed.

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/9841