User-generated content (UGC) in tourism: Benefits and concerns of online consumers
This paper examines the views of travel consumers that search for information online in relation to the
specific benefits and concerns identified with user-generated content (UGC). Real contrasts in
relation to views about UGC content were identified in the literature. For instance, UGC is perceived
as being ‘credible’ or ‘not credible’ as an information source depending upon the view of the user.
The paper reports research that examined the use of UGC by online travel consumers, sourced from
an Australian tourism organisation’s online subscriber database. The study highlighted a similar
range of areas that were seen as benefits and concerns in the use of UGC to support travel decisions
as identified in the literature – and also similar contrasts. The most notable of these is the level of
trustworthiness and reliability that is associated with the postings – they can be trusted because they
are 'real' experiences by 'real' people who are independent – but can also be not trustworthy because
the content that is posted may be faked by someone with a vested interest. Similar paradoxes existed
elsewhere. One of the theoretical contributions of the paper is the derivation of a matrix for
classifying recommendations associated with online UGC.
Burgess, Stephen; Sellitto, Carmine; Cox, Carmen; and Buultjens, Jeremy, "User-generated content (UGC) in tourism: Benefits and concerns of online consumers" (2009). ECIS 2009 Proceedings. 439.
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