Converting Opinion Seekers in Opinion Givers in the Tourism Industry: Building Trust is Critical!

Gilles N'Goala, Caroline Morrongiello
With the Web 2.0, the interpersonal influence now includes its extension in cyberspace with electronic word of mouth. Thus, consumers become producers of information and create content. However, companies face difficulties in making them 'partial employees' who will actively participate in co-creating value, in content production and in promoting their products on the web. From a literature review and a qualitative study, we identify eight possible antecedents of consumer participation and
more » ... mer engagement towards a brand. Using structural equations modeling, we test our model in a French Ski Resort (N = 1352) and demonstrate that consumers actively participate in opinion platforms to help companies (resort, destination) and not to vent negative feelings. The low level of consumer participation in opinion platforms is mainly due to their high level skepticism regarding the sincerity of online reviews and the companies' opportunistic and manipulative practices (false reviews, etc.). Companies should trust their customers if they want them to become active promoters of their services on the internet.
doi:10.5445/ksp/1000038784/10 fatcat:2pzf72avj5ghlhnezopg7w5azq