2.6 “architecture of participation,” and going beyond the

2.6 Travel 2.0

Over the last
few decades the World Wide Web has experience a rapid transformation, from “Web
1.0” to “Web 2.0”. O’Reilly (2005), describes the term Web 2.0 as,

 

…the
network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are
those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform:
delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more
people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including
individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that
allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an
“architecture of participation,” and going beyond the page metaphor
of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences. (O’Reilly, 2005)

 

In short, it
is a term to describe the second generation of World Wide Web. Unlike the
traditional World Wide Web/Web 1.0, where data is controlled by corporations so
that, users can only view or downloaded the content (Shih, 2009; (as cited in
Munar and Jacobsen, 2013), Web 2.0 explores the possibilities of the web in
more interactive collaborative ways, putting emphasis on social interactions
between users (Murugesan, 2007).

 

Several
industries have been using the concept of Web 2.0. In the tourism sector, Web
2.0 applications have been named as Travel 2.0 and are creating cultural change
in the tourism world (Miguéns  et al.,
2008). According to Méndez et al., (2015), tourists have modified their travel
planning behavior with the advent of Travel 2.0. The new platforms gave
tourists to engage in online conversations or obtain information through e-WOM
(Electronic Word of Mouth) communication (Méndez et al., 2015).

 

2.6.1 Electronic Word of Mouth (e-WOM)

Tourists often
follow the advice of friends, relatives, and acquaintances when arranging
trips, especially when they intend to travel to a destination they have not
visited previously (Litvin et al., 2008). This Word of Mouth (WOM) is informal
communication among consumers about the characteristics, properties and use of
a product or service, in which the sources are considered to be independent of
commercial influences (Litvin et al., 2008; Park, Lee, and Han, 2007;
Westbrook, 1987; as cited in Méndez et al., 2015).

 

In the era of
Web 2.0, WOM has evolved to electronic-Word of Mouth (e-WOM). According to Hennig-Thurau
et al. (2008), e-WOM can be defined as, any positive or negative statement made
by potential, actual, or former customers about a product or company, which is
made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the Internet.

Furthermore, Litvin et al. (2008), defined e-WOM as, communications directed at
consumers through Internet-based technologies. The researchers also stated that
given the powerful influences of e-WOM, it should not be or abused, but nourished
and managed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the hospitality and
tourism firm’s marketing strategies.