‘Your trip or mine?’ : a study examining hotel guests' expectations and perceptions in conjunction with user-generated websites
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MA in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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The presence and significance of online marketing in the services industry has become increasingly critical specifically with the emergence of user-generated websites like TripAdvisor, Expedia and FlyerTalk. Research in the area is somewhat limited as the topic has emerged within just the past decade. This research aims to gauge whether or not there is a direct correlation to hotel guests' expectations and perceptions in relation to user-generated websites. The study was conducted with hotel guests staying in a 5-star hotel in the city centre of Dublin, Ireland. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were taken towards the study. Qualitative methods were used to conduct mini- focus groups in order to gain a fresh perspective into hotel guest's views and opinions on the topic. The results of these methods were used to aid in the design of the questionnaire. Questionnaires were distributed to 125 hotel guests. Results showed that there is a direct correlation between hotel guests' expectations and perceptions in regards to user-generated websites. The study found that a gap may exist between the two when the hotel fails to meet the guest's expectations. Additional recommendations for closing this gap are given by the author.