Title: The effect of online consumer reviews on buying behaviour and their management by the tourism industry

Authors: Theofania Balaska; Alexia Mary Tzortzaki

Addresses: Athens Institute for Education and Research, 8 Valaoritou Street, Kolonaki, 10671, Athens, Greece ' School of Management and Economics, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Estavromenos, 71004, Heraklion, Crete, and School of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University, Greece

Abstract: This paper presents an exploratory research carried out to further enhance existing findings and theory, on the effect of online consumer reviews (OCRs) on consumer behaviour. It focuses on online booking and the behaviour of Greek tourists. It is an attempt to detect the level of consumers' involvement with OCRs, primarily by measuring the effect of OCRs on their perception and by examining their attitude towards the management of OCRs by the hotel administration. Although findings are drawn from a small sample and cannot be extrapolated to the whole population, the findings combined with the literature review, proffer useful insights and lay foundations for a larger research project. Analysis suggests 'clarity in reviews' as being the most important factor for tourists. They are highly affected by negative reviews, especially when these are related to accommodation cleanliness. Moreover, although hotel management's responses to reviews are considered important, their absence does not affect the tourists' level of involvement.

Keywords: online consumer reviews; OCRs; involvement; tourism; booking; consumer behaviour; Greece.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDSRM.2017.084012

International Journal of Decision Sciences, Risk and Management, 2017 Vol.7 No.1/2, pp.143 - 167

Received: 13 May 2016
Accepted: 03 Mar 2017

Published online: 02 May 2017 *

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