Main Article Content
Word of mouth (WOM) plays an important role in one’s daily life, especially in the tourism industry. With the development of information communication technologies, WOM has developed into electronic word of mouth, also referred to as eWOM. This study examines the influence of eWOM on tourists’ behavioral intentions to choose a particular tourism destination. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) is utilized to investigate how eWOM influences Chinese tourists’ intention to visit Thailand. This study is based on non-probability convenience sampling where primary data were collected from 400 respondents who relied on tourists’ online comments about their travel experiences to plan their trip to Thailand in the last six months.
Research objectives of this study are to study the relationship between eWOM and Chinese tourists’ decision-making influence factors to visit Thailand, and to investigate how eWOM affects Chinese tourists’ intention to travel in Thailand. The results show that eWOM significantly affect tourists’ behavioral intention toward visiting Thailand by affecting their attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). This thesis adopted the cross-sectional research methodology because of time limitations and no financial support from outside. In addition, this thesis focused on Chinese tourists only. Different countries have their own characteristics and cultures, and the results or conclusions of this study cannot be applied to other countries.
The findings of this study will help tourism organizations and marketers based in China and Thailand to realize that using eWOM is becoming a major trend for Chinese tourists when planning a so-called Do-It-Yourself (DIY) trip.