The effect of online reviews on hotel booking intention: The role of reader-reviewer similarity

Irene Cheng Chu Chan, Long W. Lam, Cheris W.C. Chow, Lawrence Hoc Nang Fong, Chun Hung Roberts Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


On the basis of homophily and similarity-attraction theory, we posit that review valence is positively related to consumers’ hotel booking intentions, and expect this relationship to be moderated by surface- (demographic) and deep-level (preference) similarities. The findings from two experiments conducted in Germany and Macau indicate that review valence significantly affects hotel booking intention, and that reader-reviewer demographic similarity moderates this effect. This three-way interaction reveals a substituting moderation effect between demographic similarity and preference similarity. One practical implication is that travel websites should find methods of exposing users to reviews written by those with either similar demographic characteristics or preferences, which facilitate travelers’ decision-making processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-65
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • Booking intention
  • Demographic and preference similarity
  • Homophily theory
  • Review valence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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