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Research Article, J Tourism Res Hospitality Vol: 7 Issue: 1

Swipe and Book: How Consumers Evaluate the Functionality of Hotel-Reservation Apps

Sungsik Yoon1, Hsiangting (Shatina) Chen2*, Young Hoon Kim3 and Tun-Min (Catherine) Jai4

1The Collins College of Hospitality Management, Calfornia State Polytechnic University, Pomona, USA

2Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management, the University of Alabama, USA416 Russell Hall, USA

3Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of North Texas, USA

4Hospitality and Retail Management, Texas Tech University, USA

*Corresponding Author : Hsiangting (Shatina) Chen
Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management, the University of Alabama, USA416 Russell Hall, USA
Tel: 205-348-1127
E-mail:
[email protected]

Received: November 07, 2017 Accepted: January 08, 2018 Published: January 15, 2018

Citation: Yoon S, Chen H, Kim YH, Jai T (2018) Swipe and Book: How Consumers Evaluate the Functionality of Hotel-Reservation Apps. J Tourism Res Hospitality 7:1. doi: 10.4172/2324-8807.1000179

Abstract

Objective: Since mobile experiences (e.g., touch-operated) can differ from traditional computer experiences (i.e., mouse-operated), it is worthwhile to investigate how consumers evaluate the functionality of hotel-reservation mobile apps, whether they are comparable to traditional e-service quality dimensions or not. Thus, this study is not only focused on examining the contents of attributes of hotelbooking- apps currently available in the markets, but also attempted to categorize a number of apps’ functions by the level of perceived importance as measured by mobile device users. Methodology: First, a preliminary content analysis of hotel-booking apps was utilized to develop a list of service features. Then, an online self-administrated questionnaire was distributed to mobile device users. A factor analysis was performed to identify the underlying functions and consumers’ evaluations of hotel-booking-related apps. Results: A major finding that was drawn from the factor analysis in this study is that many functions of hotel-booking apps can be categorized into several e-service dimensions. Four factors (hotel reservation experience, hedonic experience, online support, and sharing experience) were identified. Conclusion: The growing popularity of mobile devices has prompted many hospitality firms to redesign their traditional channel structures by developing and engaging in mobile applications. With an assorted number of apps in the mobile device market, investigations of using mobile apps in the hospitality industry as a relatively new electronic distribution channel and user interface are warranted. Moreover, the means-end chain theory was used as a theoretical framework to analyze the attributes of the apps with the dimensions of e-service quality.

Keywords: Hotel mobile app; Mobile experience; Electronic service quality; Hotel app functionality; Means-end chain theory

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