Information search has been a topic of research for a multitude of studies across several fields, including travel and tourism. However, information search on the internet, especially in travel and tourism, has rarely been examined. As a result, this research was undertaken to explore travel information search behaviors on the Internet.
This thesis uses information foraging theory (Pirolli & Card, 1999) as a basis to examine online travel information search behaviors. In addition, other established measures of online information search (Hodkinson, Kiel, & McColl-Kennedy, 2000) were used to supplement findings based upon information foraging theory. Groups of students from two different countries of origin (Belgium and the United States) were compared based on the body of literature started by Hofstede (1980) on uncertainty avoidance. Additionally, Students from the United states were compared when planning trips over two different travel planning horizons (One week and three months) based on the body of literature started by Gitelson and Crompton (1983).
Measures of information foraging were measured by frequency of use, and it was found that such measures applied to online travel information foraging. It was also found that the majority of additional measures were applicable to online travel information foraging, with the addition of several measures found to be unique to the travel genre. Additionally, with the use of independent sample t-tests, this research revealed several significant differences in search behaviors between Belgians and Americans. Finally, with the exception of one measurement, this research revealed that participants with different travel planning horizons were not significantly different.
|Advisor:||Norman, William C.|
|Commitee:||Backman, Sheila, McGuire, Francis|
|Department:||Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management|
|School Location:||United States -- South Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 47/01M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mass media, Information systems, Recreation|
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