Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

Major

Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Thomas Schrier

Abstract

Information technology transforms the way hospitality organizations do business. There are many areas during the hotel booking process that create moments of satisfaction or dissatisfaction for customers. One of these areas is the ease of utilization of a hotel’s online reservation system.

It is important for hotel companies to ensure appropriate service is provided to customers and creates a positive customer experience; therefore, accurate and timely reservations are essential. The internet enables hotel customers to take full advantage of the immense amount of information available while they are booking a hotel online. According to Castro and Custodio (2016), a hotel’s online reservation system has become a popular means for reserving hotel rooms. A hotel’s online reservation system enables hotel managers to manage the reservation process without manual efforts. Moreover, the online reservation system also improves the efficiency of the reservation process compared to booking via email or by phone. The hotel’s online reservation system also provides a direct way for hotels to monitor their revenue management (Hu & Gu, 2013). In addition, by booking a room through a hotel’s online reservation system, customers are assured about the availability of a room upon arrival at the hotel during their trip. The reservation is a commitment made by the hotel rather than a third-party business when the hotel accepts the reservation request via their online reservation system (Kasavana & Brooks, 1998). However, there is still a large portion of customers using other methods to book a hotel room, including through OTA websites, by email, by phone, or in person. Therefore, factors impelling customers to book directly through the hotel’s own reservation system turn out to be a substantial topic for hotel management. This study focuses on examining the factors affecting customers’ intention to use a hotel’s online reservation system by combining previous theories and framework.

This study examines the elements impacting customers’ intentions to use a hotel’s online reservation system to make room reservations, including the customers’ perceptions of service quality, the experience of using the hotel’s online reservation system on its website, satisfaction regarding the hotel, perception of the experience using the online reservation system, and evaluation of other customers’ online reviews of a hotel.

Results from 848 online survey responses indicated customers intended to book through a hotel’s online reservation system due to favorable perceptions about the hotel’s service quality, positive experiences using the hotel’s online reservation system in terms of usefulness and ease of use, and good evaluations about other customers’ online reviews about the hotel. The findings proved the TAM was successfully applied to the hotel industry to explain customer usage of a hotel’s online reservation system. It was also confirmed that perceived ease of use directly affected customers’ intentions to use a system only when the system was not purchase-oriented. Customers’ evaluations about online reviews regarding the hotel affected their intentions to book through the hotel’s online reservation system by increasing the customers’ satisfaction level and perception of their experience using the system.

Contributions of this study were both theoretical and practical. First, this study provided insights into the perceived service quality-customer satisfaction-purchase intention link in a hotel’s online reservation system setting. Second, the results generalized the TAM for a hotel online direct sale scenario by examining the relationship among user acceptance of system and intention to use the system for purchase. Third, this study made the first attempt to combine intention for system usage and intention to purchase and investigated in an online reservation system setting in hotel industry. Fourth, results suggested strategies to hotel practitioners for improving a hotel’s online reservation system in terms of ease of use and usefulness. Fifth, provided advice for hoteliers in improving online distribution strategies to take advantage of the customers’ adoption of the online reservation system as a reservation tool. Lastly, the results addressed the impact of online reviews generated by customers on customer satisfaction regarding the hotel and perception of their experience using the hotel’s online reservation system.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-180810-6120

Copyright Owner

Mai Wu

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

157 pages

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