User-generated content (UGC) in tourism: Benefits and concerns of online consumers

Stephen Burgess, Carmine Sellitto, Carmen Cox, Jeremy Buultjens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS)
Subtitle of host publicationInformation systems in a globalising world: Challenges, ethics and practices
EditorsS. Newell, E. Whitley, N. Pouloudi, J. Wareham, L. Mathiassen
Place of PublicationVerona, Italy
PublisherUniversity of Verona
ISBN (Print)9788861293195
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventEuropean Conference on Information Systems : Information systems in a globalising world: Challenges, ethics and practices - Verona, Italy
Duration: 8 Jun 200910 Jun 2009
Conference number: 17th


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Information Systems
Abbreviated titleECIS 2009


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