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Decades ago, before the advancement of technology and internet use, customers were constrained to exchanging information with their travel agents, families or friends. Information about the destination was restricted and based on personal perception (Hardin & Kim, 2010). Hardly were the customers able to correlate diverse reviews about a destination. Even though times have shifted, the significance of word to mouth recommendation are still one of the considerations before making a travel decision (Starkov & Mechoso, 2008).
World of a word to mouth has even gained more importance with the increase of communication propelled by the internet. Hotels websites connect customers with each other and make information and reviews about the hotels, restaurant and vacation rentals reachable to the public (Hardin & Kim, 2010; Noone et al., 2011). Hotel websites also allow customers to compare different reviews of past customers, especially on hotel ranks, problems, and benefits (Starkov & Mechoso, 2008).
Consequently, customers can compare similar hotels and restaurant at the desired destination with each other (McKay, 2010). Besides, hotel websites host forums on travel-related topics, thus making the gathering of information to be endless (McKay, 2010). Although hotels are gaining numerous profits with social networking, they have to pay the price of losing control in managing social media (McKay, 2010).
Hotels and restaurants may be subjected to negative publicity in the event that they do not carefully observe consumer action on their social networking platforms. The proposed study seeks to investigate the impacts of these reviews on hotels and restaurants. Besides collecting traveller’s opinion on the credibility of online reviews when planning towards a travel destination, the proposed study will examine its influence on travellers’ choice of a possible travel destination. The proposed study has hypothesized the need for the hospitality industry to protect itself from adverse effects propelled by online reviews.
Scope of the study
To counter issues related to social media, a few lodgings have set up full-time conferred staff just to screen customer substance to address and resolve issues raised through all social platforms. Although hospitality industries are facing these issues, the travellers and tourist should be mindful of deceitful reviews set up by some organizations. Organizations have utilized their own particular representatives or promoters to compose decent reviews for themselves, and negative audits for their rivals (Mansfield & Pizam, 1999; Edosomwan et al., 2011).
A full confirmation system for making credibility of the review on a social media platform will consequently be exceptionally helpful for clients. According to Monsonhaefel, (2003), before opening a new account, “amazon.com” prefers its customers to have accounts with other companies; Hotmail or Yahoo. Monsonhaefel (2003) prescribes enlistment of users’ accounts with their Visas since it would make it troublesome for a solitary user to possess more than one account. Nevertheless, there are recurring incidences with false reviews that need to be addressed. The proposed study will allow travellers to give recommendations that will help secure the image of the hotels and restaurant so as to figure out the preferred choice for managing false hotel reviews. Therefore, the respondent will have a chance to pinpoint some of the challenges associated with online reviews hence availing a practical solution to hotel management.
The service industry is currently depending on social media to reach out to customers. It is practical for the tourism sector to recognize this and adjust to these difficulties created by marketing and communication rapidly. Travel and hotel review websites have increasingly grown to be influential in recent times. They have become so significant that they have a negative and positive impact on business. Hotel management, handling online reviews, has also become increasingly important. However, because of how technology and the internet are currently shifting things, there are many challenges on the horizon. Managers will need to be able to adapt to stay on top of the word of mouth communication so as to control its effects. With the Millennial generation becoming part of the workforce and a developing consumer base, it is sensible to infer that the business that utilizes online networking to their advantage are the ones that will flourish in the near prospect (Loooker et al., 2007).
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Hardin, A., & Kim, J. (2010). The impact of virtual worlds on word of mouth: Improving social networking and services in the hospitality industry. Journal of Hospitality marketing and management, 19(7), 735-753. Web.
Loooker, A., Rockland D., & Taylor-Ketchun, E. (2007). Media myths and realities: A study of 2006 media usage in America. Tactics, 10, 21-22. Web.
Mansfield Y., & Pizam A. (1999). Consumer behavior in travel and tourism. New York: Haworth Press. Web.
McKay, L. (2010). The hospitality Suite. Customer relationship management, 14(9), 30-34 Web.
Monsonhaefel, R. (2003). Amazon.com reviews are a farce. Web.
Noone, B.M., Meguire, K.A, & Rohlfs, K. V. (2011). Social media meets hotel revenue management: Opportunities, issues, and unanswered questions. Journal of Revenue and pricing Management, 10(4), 293-305. Web.
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Starkov, M, & Mechoso, M. (2008). Best practices on Monitoring Hotel Review Sites. Hospitality businesses Strategies, New York. Web.