Consumer trust in tourism and hospitality: A review of the literature

Liang Wang, Chun Hung Roberts Law, Kam Hung, Basak Denizci Guillet

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


As a vital element in developing and maintaining any forms of relationship, consumer trust has attracted increasing attentions from hospitality and tourism researchers since the 1990s. As a fairly new topic, it requires frequent and critical monitoring which would shed light on current research status and make needed adjustments in terms of methodological process and inquiry focus. However, up until now, there has been little systematically review of this body of work. As such, the current study aims to fill this void by conducting a content analysis of publications on consumer trust in the domains of tourism and hospitality since 1998, when the first article on trust was published. Articles were analyzed in terms of conceptualization and operationalization. Findings reveal that research of consumer trust is still at the stage of borrowing constructs from other established disciplines and developing research models to test its compatibility in selected industrial sectors. Theories from social science in general and social exchange theory in particular are used as the underlying theoretical framework. Consumer trust is generally treated as a multidimensional concept and it is measured at individual level. In consistent with how it was conceptualized, consumer trust was commonly examined empirically. Data of consumers' perceptual responses was collected by onsite survey, main survey, or online survey. Also, mixed data-collection techniques were also spotted in the reviewing process. Statistical analysis especially Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was mainly adopted which implies large sample size used in relevant studies. Indeed, qualitative methods like focus group and interviews were also existed, functioning to dig out context-based information of consumer trust in a certain domain. From this perspective, studies reviewed in this study had methodological rigor. Based on the research results, implications and future research directions were suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Consumer trust
  • Hospitality
  • Review
  • Tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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