Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand tourists' acceptance of innovative information technologies by examining the factors influencing the intention to use mobile electronic tourist guides (METG). Design/methodology/approach – This paper developed and tested a model for examining tourists' acceptance of METG based upon Davis' technology acceptance model (TAM). The model considered three antecedents of intention: knowledge, usefulness and attitude. The relationships between them and between these and intention were explored using structural equation modeling. Findings – The findings revealed that tourists' behavioural intentions towards using METG could be raised through attitude by ensuring greater levels of perceived usefulness. Usefulness, in turn, is highly influenced by the tourists' level of knowledge regarding METG. In addition, there was also a direct significant path between knowledge and behavioural intention, suggesting that good levels of knowledge of the technology are a pre‐condition for greater usage of METG. Research limitations/implications – This paper suggests that the predictive ability of the TAM in the context of innovations at their early stages of diffusion, that is, when potential adopters know little about them, can be enhanced by incorporating knowledge as an explanatory variable. Future studies could use the full version of the TAM by including other measures of knowledge beyond awareness knowledge, such as how‐to knowledge, as suggested by Rogers. Originality/value – This paper adapts the TAM to study the acceptance of technology‐based information technologies at their early stages of development. The findings of this study contribute to enhancing our understanding of what influences tourists' acceptance of METG. They can be used to inform local and national strategies aimed at developing Portugal's (and other countries') credentials as digital destinations.
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 2, 2011
Keywords: Mobile technology; Tourism; Portugal; Tourists; Guides and handbooks
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