ACCOMMODATION INFORMATION SEARCH: THE PERCEIVED VALUE OF READING ONLINE REVIEWS
Massaro, Maria Rita
Previous research studied the impact that accommodation online reviews have on those reading them. However, this is mainly quantitative and lacks of conceptual frameworks to ensure consistency. Additionally, only a few of these have considered influencing variables (i.e. characteristics of the review and the reader, and surrounding circumstances). This study will focus on online reviews about accommodation establishments. Its aim is to gain an understanding of the value of reading accommodation online reviews, through a qualitative study. A conceptual framework, based on consumer-perceived value theory, has been developed and face-to-face interviews with readers of accommodation online review have been undertaken. The results suggest that the value of reviews is primarily epistemic (fulfilling the curiosity of those reading them) and conditional (depending on the circumstances), as well as partially functional (related to the provision of effective and efficient information to support decision-making). However, limited emotional (i.e. fun) and social value (i.e. providing a feeling of belonging) have been reported. Furthermore, the elements eliciting the different value dimensions and variables influencing these (such as information search patterns) were identified.