The Role of e-WOM in Online Reputation: A Tourism Context

MeiKun (Vicky) Loi joined the Phd program at School of Tourism, Bournemouth University, U.K. in September 2012. Her research, supervised by Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Professor Stephen Page and Dr. Alessandro Inversini,aims to investigate the role of eWOM in online reputation: a tourism context.

The rapid growth of web 2.0 websites, i.e. social media websites, has generated an enormous volume of online User Generated Content (UGC), which is being recognised as eWOM. Many of the social media websites assist consumers in posting, sharing their travel-related comments, opinions, & personal experiences, which can come to constitute an online reputation of an organisation. Social media has created an irrevocable change in consumer-brand co-creation relationships which is evident in the proactive role consumers take in shaping the dialogue with the brand and ultimately, its reputation. Yet, in the context of tourism marketing, research using social media and eWOM in understanding online reputation, is deemed to be limited.

The research intends to explore the role of eWOM in possibly shaping and managing online reputation in the context of tourism. Branding is thought to have an increasing effect in reputation. The results of the research could provide insights of how branding and reputation is changing as a result of Web 2.0, social media and eWOM. It could also have significant impact on tourism managers to understand the online reputation of their organisations within Web 2.0, how this is emerging through the social media and UGC and to tackle the shortcomings that may affect its online branding strategy and online reputation, and as a result, competitiveness.

 

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