The influence and management of the electronic Word-of-Mouth within the French tourism industry
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
French trip retailers: How to encourage and manage e-WOM? (English)
The purpose of the paper is to understand how crucial of importance is e-WOM within the French tourism industry with a focus on trip retailers – travel agencies and tour-operators – by observing and analyzing how they encourage and manage e-WOM.
The paper uses deductive approach with a triangulation method based on a qualitative research through 24 semi-structured telephone interviews and a quantitative research through the behavior analysis of 112 trip retailers on online communities.
It was found that the French trip retailers encourage e-WOM by primarily joining and using online communities via posting pictures and special offers at least twice a week on social networks. Besides, among those that collect and manage positive and negative comments, they mainly do it on Facebook by rather adopting a non-defensive attitude.
The authors suggest trip retailers not use as many online communities they can but regularly be active on the one(s) they choose to use. Moreover, responding not only to negative but also to positive e-WOM may be a strategy that paid off since few trip retailers take it into consideration. Regarding the management of negative e-WOM, the authors recommend against deleting non-eulogistic comments and reply publicly within 24 hours.
This study was limited to French trip retailers and cannot consequently be generalised for all international trip retailers. Additionally, the specific sector trip retailers work with has not been taken into consideration. Moreover, even if trip retailers have been classified within four categories, no deeply correlation has been studied between the size and their online activity.
Further research suggestions
Future research is needed to possibly confirm and subsequently generalise the findings of this paper to the overall tourism industry in France. Moreover, it is necessary to compare what trip retailers think to do and what they really do on the web and determine a degree of relevance. Furthermore, due to the constantly growing interest for online communities by tourism professionals, an updated study of that one should be conducted during the next five years and results compared. It would be finally also interesting to measure the impact of e-WOM on online communication strategies
Qualitative and quantitative studies
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 212 p.
e-WOM, trip retailers, online communities, online communication
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-35046OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-35046DiVA: diva2:724152
Subject / course
Business Administration - Marketing
Marketing, Master Programme, 60 credits
2014-06-04, M1055, Linnaeus University SE-351 95, Växjö, 15:00 (English)
Sattari, Setayesh, Professor
Pehrsson, Anders, Professor