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Understanding service quality in a virtual travel community environment


  • Elliot, Statia
  • Li, Guoxin
  • Choi, Chris


Technological innovations in the tourism industry have significantly influenced the communication channels between service providers and potential travelers. Virtual travel communities (VTCs) are now popular and influential venues for tourism information sharing, yet little is known about membership behavior. The purpose of this study is to test a new model of VTC beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors using structural equation modeling. The model integrates measures proven in traditional consumer behavior theory, such as satisfaction, trust, and brand attitude, with behavioral measures unique to the virtual domain, such as stickiness. The results of an online survey of members of C-Trip, a Chinese VTC, indicate that the quality of the community significantly influences member satisfaction and trust. However, trust does not directly influence site stickiness or intention to transact. Member satisfaction significantly influences site stickiness, whereas trust influences brand attitude, which in turn influences intention to transact. These relationships suggest a service blueprint for site owners to ultimately stimulate online transactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Elliot, Statia & Li, Guoxin & Choi, Chris, 2013. "Understanding service quality in a virtual travel community environment," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1153-1160.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:66:y:2013:i:8:p:1153-1160
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2012.03.011

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Osti, Linda, 2009. "Creating UGC Areas of Official Destination Websites: Is there a Recipe for Success? An Insight through Netnographic Research," MPRA Paper 25436, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Aug 2009.
    4. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
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    6. Martin, Drew, 2010. "Uncovering unconscious memories and myths for understanding international tourism behavior," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 372-383, April.
    7. repec:eee:touman:v:31:y:2010:i:3:p:335-340 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:rom:rmcimn:v:18:y:2017:i:3:p:274-286 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Silva, Graça Miranda & Gonçalves, Helena Martins, 2016. "Causal recipes for customer loyalty to travel agencies: Differences between online and offline customers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 5512-5518.
    3. Mi Jin Noh & Kyung Tag Lee, 2016. "An analysis of the relationship between quality and user acceptance in smartphone apps," Information Systems and e-Business Management, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 273-291, May.
    4. repec:eee:joreco:v:21:y:2014:i:6:p:1047-1058 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lin, Chiu Hui & Wu, Chih-Wen & Cheng, Yi-Han, 2015. "The empirical study of consumers' loyalty for display technology," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 2260-2265.
    6. repec:eee:joreco:v:21:y:2014:i:4:p:460-467 is not listed on IDEAS


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