Information search behavior of hong kong’s inbound travelers‐ A comparison of business and leisure travelers

Sau Yee Ada Lo, Yuk Yim Cheung, Chun Hung Roberts Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to examine the information search behavior of Hong Kong’s inbound tourists, in particular business and leisure travelers. The study clearly shows that business and leisure travelers demonstrate different information search behavior. ‘Personal experience,’ ‘Travel agency/tour company,’ ‘Airlines’ and the ‘Internet’ are most frequently relied upon by business travelers in searching for travel information, while leisure travelers prefer ‘Travel agency/tour company,’ ‘Friends or relatives,’ ‘Travel guide books,’ and ‘Personal experience.’ The study also reveals that the total number of information sources used and the length of pre‐trip planning lead‐time are significantly different between these two groups of travelers. First time travelers also have a longer pre‐trip planning lead‐time than repeat travelers. Furthermore, business and leisure travelers perceive the levels of influence of several information sources, including ‘Corporate travel departments,’ ‘Friends or relatives,’ ‘Travel guide books,’ and the ‘Internet,’ differently. These information sources were classified into five different dimensions, including ‘Media,’ ‘Neutral,’ ‘Retail,’ ‘Interpersonal,’ and ‘Personal experience.’ Analysis based on travelers’ purpose for traveling and demographic information was performed. Leisure travelers perceive the level of influence of ‘Neutral’ sources as significantly higher, and those with lower household incomes perceived the level of influence of ‘Personal experience’ as lower. The results of this study will allow marketers in Hong Kong to better understand travelers’ information search behavior so that they can more effectively tailor their marketing strategies to these two major markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-81
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Travel and Tourism Marketing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002


  • Business travelers
  • Hong kong
  • Information search
  • Leisure travelers
  • Pre-trip planning lead-time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing


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