Information Communication Technology (ICT) has had a large impact on tourism industry. In Mainland China (hereafter known as China), the increasing popularity of Internet applications to its tourism industry is evident by the rapid growth of Chinese tourism websites. In 2005, e-tourism in China has reached an income of RMB12.5 billion or US$1.63 billion, showing that although a small percentage of Chinese use the Internet, their online consumption is still considerable. While the e-tourism market seems promising, there exist a limited number of prior studies on website evaluations in the context of China. This research explores usability, a contemporary issue of website design, and focuses on the provincial Destination Management Organization (DMO) websites in China. Research findings include a checklist of criteria for assessing DMO website usability. Findings showed that China's DMO websites had medium problems, and the best and worst performing destinations were Beijing and Ningxia. In addition, the usability indices had no significant relationship with website performance and level of tourism regional development which was represented by total tourism income in the destination. Findings of this study would be of interest to readers for better understanding the current development of DMO websites in China. Industrial practitioners may consider adopting a similar approach to evaluate their websites.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management