Hospitality and travel : the nature and implications of user-generated content

Wilson, Alan and Murphy, Hilary and Cambra-Fierro, J.J. (2012) Hospitality and travel : the nature and implications of user-generated content. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 53 (3). pp. 220-228. ISSN 1938-9655

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This article examines the phenomenon of user-generated content and particularly the influence of nationality both on the motivation to post (or not) and on where and what type of content consumers share in the context of a recent trip. The method used was an online survey of 568 respondents located in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Spain. By design, a plurality of respondents was less than thirty years old. The preliminary results reveal differences in national attitudes and motivations for posting on different types of user-generated content site (i.e., social media sites, hotel- or destination-operated sites, commercial review sites, video or picture sharing sites). For example, respondents in Switzerland and the United Kingdom were more likely to post photos or travelogues on Facebook or another social media site to share with friends or relive the vacation experience. Respondents from Spain preferred to post on TripAdvisor or the travel purveyors’ websites, with the goal of making recommendations to other travelers. A chief implication for travel and hospitality managers is that in fact people from different countries have diverse reasons for posting, and the hospitality industry must take into account the differences in posting behaviors. This article was originally presented at QUIS 12, the international Quality in Service Conference.