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Abstract

The digital divide has been mostly studied with respect to access issues. This paper argues that differences in use have to be considered as well. It specifically looks at digital inequality issues with respect to rural versus urban Internet users in the context of online travel planning. A study of US online travelers was used as the data source and urban and rural respondents were identified based on whether they resided in a metropolitan statistical area or not. The analysis of the data indicates interesting digital inequalities with respect to Internet use as well as benefits derived. Implications for tourism marketers are discussed.

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Differences in Online Travel Planning: A Rural vs. Urban Perspective

The digital divide has been mostly studied with respect to access issues. This paper argues that differences in use have to be considered as well. It specifically looks at digital inequality issues with respect to rural versus urban Internet users in the context of online travel planning. A study of US online travelers was used as the data source and urban and rural respondents were identified based on whether they resided in a metropolitan statistical area or not. The analysis of the data indicates interesting digital inequalities with respect to Internet use as well as benefits derived. Implications for tourism marketers are discussed.