Electronic word of mouth’s effect on travel decision in Egypt: opportunities and challenges

Nermin Morsy

Abstract


Traditional Word of Mouth (WOM) is a mode of communication that was described originally as a means of sharing opinion and comments as regards to the products and services that people were transacting. Word-of-mouth (WOM) is ranked the most important information source when a consumer is making a purchase decision. WOM is especially important in the hospitality and tourism industry, whose intangible products are difficult to evaluate prior to their consumption.

When WOM becomes digital (electronic word of mouth), it induces new ways of capturing, evaluating, understanding, and managing the influence that one consumer may have on another. The substantial growth in online platforms has vastly expanded the potential impact of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) on consumer travel decisions. The objective of this paper is to contribute to the existing pool of research on eWOM by particularly exploring the nature of electronic word-of-mouth among Egyptians travelers and discusses some of its distinctive characteristics. In addition; the paper examines the effect of sociodemographic characteristics of the travelers on how eWOM influences their travel decisions. An online survey is employed to investigate how travelers are affected by eWOM through different online platforms. The paper shows that managers should consider various eWOM facets and try to motivate Egyptian tourists for participating in online travel communities and to build online travel communities as a potentially cost-effective means for marketing hospitality and tourism.


Keywords


eWOM, travel decision, tourism website, online reviews, marketing hospitality and tourism

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