Largely ignored by research, online travel communities have already changed the travel behavior of the younger generation. They retrieve and exchange information prior to travelling and share their experiences afterwards. This paper presents some empirical evidence that the quality of the information retrieved justifies their behavior. The evidence is embedded in a larger framework and a set of hypotheses that establish a relationship between the choice of a travel information system and attributes of information quality. The paper argues that relevant attributes of information quality are timeliness, completeness, structure and personalization. Three studies support our proposition that a traditional discussion-based online tourism community provides more timely, more complete and more personalized information than a commercial guidebook. A major deficiency is particularly their lack of structure, but also the other attributes of information quality can be improved by more advanced online tourism communities. A second section thus proposes that a) Wiki communities improve timeliness, completeness and structure of online communities b) personal spaces improve the structure and the personalization of traditional online tourist communities and c) Mobile communities provide higher quality information than traditional online tourist communities.
Schwabe, Gerhard and Prestipino, Marco, "How Tourism Communities Can Change Travel Information Quality" (2005). ECIS 2005 Proceedings. 111.