Impact of the length of stay at hotels on online reviews

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Purpose: The length of stay (LoS) is of major importance from the perspective of the management of tourist destinations. As tourists heavily rely on the online reviews of other travelers as a primary information source, this study aims to empirically examine how the LoS can influence the online reviews for hotels, with special emphasis on the textual review content. Design/methodology/approach: This study analyzes online review data collected from Booking.com by using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program to operationalize review depth, analytical thinking and the authenticity reflected in customer reviews. Based on the analyzed data, this study used a series of regression analyses to understand the impacts of the LoS on online reviews. Findings: The author’s analysis found that a longer stay at a hotel causes consumers to be more likely to post online reviews that not only include a numerical rating as well as written content but also lengthier and more detailed descriptions of their hotel experiences. Further analysis found that the LoS at hotels causes systematic differences in the linguistic attributes of the review content. Specifically, consumers who stay longer tend to write reviews with more analytical information, resulting in consumers perceiving the online reviews as more authentic. Research limitations/implications: Although the LoS has been considered a significant issue in tourism, studies examining the impact of different lengths of stay on consumers’ post-purchase behaviors are limited. In this light, the author’s findings demonstrate how the LoS can change the linguistic attributes of online reviews. It expands the body of knowledge of the LoS in tourism. Originality/value: This study represents the first attempt to empirically examine and reveal how the different length of stay at a hotel systemically influences consumer review-posting behaviors.

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International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

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