DOI: 10.1177/00472875231195314 ISSN:

Tourists’ Online Information Search Behavior: Combined User-Generated and Marketer-Generated Content in Restaurant Decision Making

Songphon Uthaisar, Anita Eves, Xuan Lorna Wang
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Transportation
  • Geography, Planning and Development

Tourist information search behavior is one of the most important aspects of risk reduction in the travel decision-making process. Understanding tourists’ behavior when searching for online information has been heavily weighted toward user-generated content (UGC), mainly employed deductive research approaches. This study examines the influence of both UGC and marketer-generated content (MGC) on tourists’ choice of restaurant, using eye-tracking technology to measure customers’ visual behavior combined with retrospective think-aloud interviews. Data was collected from 28 participants in a laboratory-based study. Video recordings of participants’ eye movements during the task aided participant recall in follow-up interviews. This study offers insights into the integrated investigation of the influence of UGC and MGC on tourists’ information search behavior. It validates and extends understanding of the roles of pictorial information, written information, and other factors, and newly clarifies the role of both positive and negative reviews in influencing restaurant selection from international tourists’ perspectives.

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