"Do We Believe in TripAdvisor?" Examining Credibility Perceptions and Online Travelers' Attitude toward Using User-Generated Content

Julian K. Ayeh, Norman Au, Chun Hung Roberts Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

449 Citations (Scopus)


Recent press reports and complaints by hoteliers have called into question the credibility of travel-related user-generated content (UGC). Yet our understanding of the role of credibility perceptions in the context of UGC is limited, notwithstanding the rising interest in social media. Using an online survey of 661 travel consumers, this study applies the component-based structural equation modeling technique of partial least squares to examine online travelers' perceptions of the credibility of UGC sources and how these perceptions influence attitudes and intentions toward UGC utilization in the travel planning process. The model also draws on the theory of homophily to make predictions about the antecedent of credibility. Results validate the Source Credibility Theory in the context of UGC but also accentuate the central mediating role of attitude. In addition, the study finds support for perceptual homophily as a critical determinant of both credibility and attitude. Theoretical and managerial implications are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-452
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • partial least squares
  • perceptual homophily
  • social media
  • source credibility
  • user-generated websites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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