Online reputation is a strategic factor in determining the competitiveness and marketing capacity of lodging companies. The influence of online opinions on customers’ decisions is increasing, and, consequently, the online reputation is a new marketing tool to capture clients and reach sales objectives in the lodging industry. In this context, the reliability and validity of customer evaluations available on websites is an essential key to competing in a tourism market influenced by the development of the Internet. The objective of this study is to analyze three of the most important online reputation websites in tourism in order to establish the reliability and validity of the scales used in customer reviews. The results demonstrated that the three websites analyzed fulfill the conventional statistical criteria of reliability and validity. However, a new type of validity is formulated in this study in order to test the capacity of the scales to determine the similarities or differences between tourism goods and services. Nonparametric tests were carried out, demonstrating that although the three websites meet the conventional statistic criteria of reliability and validity, only Booking.com has the capacity to differentiate between destinations.
Journal of Vacation Marketing: An International Journal for the Tourism and Hospitality Industries – SAGE
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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