The Influence of Reference Groups on Consumer’s Online Hotel Booking Intentions (A Field Study on the Egyptian Consumer)
The rise of new technologies now-a-days have rapidly increased the numbers of consumers who tend to rely on information about hotel products and services provided by customers who have past experiences in various hotels’ accommodations, indicating the power and persuasiveness of online product reviews. Through a descriptive and empirical study, researchers are mainly investigating the impact of reference groups on consumers’ purchase intentions regarding travelers’ decision-making and hotel bookings. Purchase intention is influenced by a variety of internal and external factors. Researchers are focusing in this study on the external influential aspects, which can include peers, members of the family, opinion leaders, and celebrities, in a manner, building up our reference groups. These reference groups inspire individuals’ tendency toward certain brands or set of products. For example, individuals tend to make purchasing decisions of products/services, which will reflect their belonging group. Results indicated that the online reference groups have an influence on customers’ hotel booking intentions. Results also indicated that the type of online reference groups has a different effect on consumer purchase intentions. Finally, the research verified the usefulness of online reviews and its positive influence on hotel online bookings.
Reference Groups, Hotel Booking, Purchase Intentions, Decision-making, Online Reviews
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