The factors influencing the purchase of on-line travel are being studied
José Pichel Andrés/DICYT The volume of purchases over the Internet is becoming an increasingly important part of the economy as a whole and of the tourism sector in particular. The contracting of transport, hotels, or complete travel packages are among the most habitual Internet transactions. For this reason the Economy and Management Department of the Universidade da Beira Interior has studied the factors that influence travellers when purchasing on-line.
The conclusions of this work by the researchers Suzanne Amaro and Paulo Duarte are expounded in a recent article published by the scientific journal Tourism Management, which proposes a complete model for analysing travel purchase intentions. Although the growth in this sector has attracted the attention of many researchers in recent years, the studies existing up to now are highly fragmented and often give contradictory results.
Moreover, in accordance with the bibliographical revision that the authors of this study have carried out, up to now the influence of social media such as social networks and blogs has not been taken into account, and the part played by elements such as trust or risk perception in consumer behaviour is not clear.
The experts of the Universidad de Beira Interior and the Instituto Politécnico of Viseu drew up a model for analysing the purchase of on-line travel that they consider “complete” because it includes various approaches: the Reasoned Action Theory, the Planned Behaviour Theory, the Technological Acceptance Model, and the Innovation Dissemination Theory. They also fill in some of the gaps detected in previous research, according to the information they have provided to DiCYT.
In order to test this new model, the researchers carried out an on-line survey of 1,732 Internet users from all over the world from which the conclusions published were finally drawn. According to the data, purchase intentions are determined firstly by the general attitude to on-line shopping, which is influenced by the relative perception of the advantages of this form of purchase and the trust it generates.
The second most important factor is that of compatibility, which is described in the Innovation Dissemination Theory as the capacity to survive with the existing values and the social system. Finally, despite the fact that this form of purchase is now common practice, the perceived risk continues to have a negative effect on the intention of contracting travel on the Internet.
Contrary to the expectations of the authors of the study, those who most often use social media have no more intention of purchasing travel on-line than other users. In any case, this research serves as a starting point for further study on this subject, which is of great interest to an important sector of the economy.
An integrative model of consumers' intentions to purchase travel online. Suzanne Amaro,