Presenter Bios

Elizabeth has held management positions in both the restaurant and hotel industries. She has also served as the executive director of the AH&LA Information Center. She holds a BA from the University of Pittsburgh, an MS in Hospitality Management from the University of Houston where she is currently a PhD candidate.

John is a professor and former dean of the Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston. He holds a BS in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and a PhD in Marketing from Texas A&M University. He is the recipient of the John Wiley and Sons Award that recognizes lifetime research achievements.

Abstract

Online consumption communities provide opportunities for social engagements targeting conversations about products and services in which individuals’ actions within the community have the potential to influence consumer behavior. According to extant research, these groups effect decision making processes, however they remain an enigma and require further investigation. Understanding the impact of online communities on the hospitality and tourism industry is a crucial area that is still not fully understood. As travel and tourism destinations are highly complex and require travelers to plan thoroughly in order to best enjoy their travels and hopefully minimize travel risks, consumers are turning to alternative sources of information due to availability and preference for online mediums. Using the DIS online community, this study evaluates the impacts of consumer engagement on brand identification and behavioral intentions both towards continued involvement with the community and intentions towards the brand or destination. This research is integral for future understandings of consumer behavior in online communities and the impact of these communities on decision making practices.

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Engaging the Customer: The Impacts of Online Travel Community Engagement on Brand Identification and Behavioral Intentions

Online consumption communities provide opportunities for social engagements targeting conversations about products and services in which individuals’ actions within the community have the potential to influence consumer behavior. According to extant research, these groups effect decision making processes, however they remain an enigma and require further investigation. Understanding the impact of online communities on the hospitality and tourism industry is a crucial area that is still not fully understood. As travel and tourism destinations are highly complex and require travelers to plan thoroughly in order to best enjoy their travels and hopefully minimize travel risks, consumers are turning to alternative sources of information due to availability and preference for online mediums. Using the DIS online community, this study evaluates the impacts of consumer engagement on brand identification and behavioral intentions both towards continued involvement with the community and intentions towards the brand or destination. This research is integral for future understandings of consumer behavior in online communities and the impact of these communities on decision making practices.