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Are pictures worth a thousand room nights? Success factors for hotel web site design

Are pictures worth a thousand room nights? Success factors for hotel web site design Purpose – Consumers as well as hotel web sites are evolving, changing the requirements and expectations for online hotel room reservations. Building on previous research, the purpose of this paper is to explore hotel web site design's influence on site appeal and likelihood to purchase. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology incorporates both qualitative and quantitative methods. College‐age participants visited hotel web sites detailing their impressions. Using a grounded theory‐based approach and regression analysis, web design factors are identified and assessed. Findings – The paper finds a preference for enhanced graphical web site design. This finding contradicts prior studies. The paper also finds continued importance in: ease of use, brand loyalty site content, and site aesthetics. Research limitations/implications – This paper uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. The coding of qualitative data can be affected by researcher bias. This paper also suffers from an age and geographic population bias. While this paper suggests that certain factors influence the likelihood to purchase, more extensive definition of these factors is needed. In addition, several factors, which were important in previous studies, have incongruous findings in this paper and need further examination. Practical implications – The results give direction to the design of effective hotel web sites. Originality/value – Rapidly evolving internet technologies and consumer behavior generate a need for ongoing research to consumer behavior. A study with valid insight and information completed previously may not accurately reflect today's internet hotel market. The findings are significant: they suggest there has been a shift in consumer preferences. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology Emerald Publishing

Are pictures worth a thousand room nights? Success factors for hotel web site design

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References (71)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1757-9880
DOI
10.1108/17579881011023007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Consumers as well as hotel web sites are evolving, changing the requirements and expectations for online hotel room reservations. Building on previous research, the purpose of this paper is to explore hotel web site design's influence on site appeal and likelihood to purchase. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology incorporates both qualitative and quantitative methods. College‐age participants visited hotel web sites detailing their impressions. Using a grounded theory‐based approach and regression analysis, web design factors are identified and assessed. Findings – The paper finds a preference for enhanced graphical web site design. This finding contradicts prior studies. The paper also finds continued importance in: ease of use, brand loyalty site content, and site aesthetics. Research limitations/implications – This paper uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. The coding of qualitative data can be affected by researcher bias. This paper also suffers from an age and geographic population bias. While this paper suggests that certain factors influence the likelihood to purchase, more extensive definition of these factors is needed. In addition, several factors, which were important in previous studies, have incongruous findings in this paper and need further examination. Practical implications – The results give direction to the design of effective hotel web sites. Originality/value – Rapidly evolving internet technologies and consumer behavior generate a need for ongoing research to consumer behavior. A study with valid insight and information completed previously may not accurately reflect today's internet hotel market. The findings are significant: they suggest there has been a shift in consumer preferences.

Journal

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 12, 2010

Keywords: Hotels; Internet; Advertising; Photographs; Bandwidths; Promotional methods

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