Del Chiappa, Giacomo and Lorenzo Romero, Carlota and Constantinides, Efthymios (2014) Disintermediation and user-generated content: a latent segmentation analysis. Procedia: social and behavioral sciences, Vol. 148 , p. 524-532. eISSN 1877-0428. Article.
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This research investigates the perceptions of different groups of consumers for and against the disintermediation of travel agencies also considering the relative power in influencing the tourist's choices exerted by user generated-content (UGC). A web-based survey is carried out in Spain and 961 complete questionnaires was obtained. A latent segmentation was applied on factors identified running an exploratory factor analysis on a list of 16 statements, the use and frequency of use of the Internet to make hotel reservations, if consumers are bookers or lookers, and they have changed hotel reservations after having read UGC. Findings revealed that different clusters exist based on the identified factors and aforementioned variables, and that significant differences between these clusters based on sociodemographic characteristics, their behavior in using the Internet for searching for information and/or buying, and the extent to which they change the accommodation that had been suggested by a travel agent after having read UGC. The generalization of this research is limited by its method of sampling. This study provides further insights into the scientific debate on disintermediation also considering the relative power of UGC in influencing the tourist's choices. Further, it suggests that hotel marketers should use different types of online and offline distribution channels according to the different characteristics of the consumers who use them and of the products they are looking for.
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