Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Chun-Hung Tang

Committee Chair

Chun-Hung Tang

Committee Member 1

Xinran Lehto

Committee Member 2

Jonathon Day


As online shopping is widely used in the hospitality industry, research in this field constantly strives to understand the customer behavior in online purchasing activities. Online customer reviews (OCRs) and perceived risk have been extensively evaluated in previous studies in related with online purchasing. In spite of the large body of work on the topic of OCRs effect on consumer behavior, it is still unclear that how OCRs affect the decision process of the consumers when they make online booking. Due to the intangibility of hospitality or tourism product and the nature of online booking, risk perception is considered as one of the most important factors that impact the buyer's decision. Thus, it is constructive to investigate the effect of OCRs in the context of consumer perceived risk associated with online shopping, in the hope of understanding how OCRs affect the decision process and seeking solutions for the hotel marketers to improve their service as well as the online commenting system.

In this study, we demonstrated a method which investigates the relationship between consumers' perceived risk associated with online leisure hotel shopping and different types of OCRs (core and peripheral). By evaluating perceived risk associated with online leisure hotel booking caused by different hotel attributes, we addressed the

importance of OCRs on various hotel attributes and therefore provided information for E-marketers to fine-tune their E-business strategies in terms of managing proper online customer reviews.

Two hundred surveys were distributed. The instrument contained two parts and one scenario: (1) Demographic information, past experience, and attitudes towards OCRs of the participants regarding online leisure hotel booking. (2) A scenario was given that the participant was planning a trip for his/herself the up-coming vocation. (3) Operational statements were used to evaluate each individual participant's risk perception about his/her most recent online leisure hotel booking experience.

The findings provided exploratory insights about the dimensions of perceived risk identified in the process of online leisure hotel booking, effect of the positive and negative reviews, different OCRs had different implications for different hotel preferences and the magnitudes of OCRs effect for each dimension of perceived risk associated with online leisure hotel booking. Detailed findings were discussed in Chapter 5.