Abstract

Online communities have become a popular and influential venue for tourism information sharing, yet little is known about membership behavior. The purpose of this study is to test a new model of online travel community beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. The model integrates measures proven in traditional consumer behavior theory such as satisfaction, trust and brand attitude, with behavioral measures unique to the online domain, such as stickiness. The results of an online survey of 145 members of C-Trip, a Chinese online community, indicate that the quality of the community significantly influences member satisfaction and trust. However, trust does not influence site stickiness or intention to transact. It is member satisfaction that significantly influences site stickiness, and in turn stickiness influences intention to transact. The relationship from online community quality, to member satisfaction, to stickiness, to transaction suggests a service blueprint for site operators to follow.

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An Application of a Model of Online Travel Community Behavior: Beliefs, Attitudes and Behaviors in C-Trip, a Chinese Online Travel Community

Online communities have become a popular and influential venue for tourism information sharing, yet little is known about membership behavior. The purpose of this study is to test a new model of online travel community beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. The model integrates measures proven in traditional consumer behavior theory such as satisfaction, trust and brand attitude, with behavioral measures unique to the online domain, such as stickiness. The results of an online survey of 145 members of C-Trip, a Chinese online community, indicate that the quality of the community significantly influences member satisfaction and trust. However, trust does not influence site stickiness or intention to transact. It is member satisfaction that significantly influences site stickiness, and in turn stickiness influences intention to transact. The relationship from online community quality, to member satisfaction, to stickiness, to transaction suggests a service blueprint for site operators to follow.