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Research Article Open Access
Internet and social network communities have become the essential channel for people looking for tourism information and online purchases or reservations. The academic community strive to better understand which factors influence online satisfaction and loyalty in the online travel industry. Many antecedents to e-satisfaction have been identified in the literature, namely functional and relational website characteristics. While many studies have assessed the influence of functional characteristics on esatisfaction such as usability and security, few research focused on the influence of social and human dimensions of the interface, called relational characteristics, especially in the online travel context. In fact, the relational features have been studied as a part of the optimization of the website interface and not from the logic of loyalty and brand-customer relationships. Moreover, there is a call in the literature for more research on the impact of individual engagement on social networks sites on loyalty generation. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate how online attributes under the control of the cyber-merchant (website functional and relational attributes) and social networking sites where the firm has far less control, foster e-saisfaction and e-loyalty in the online travel industry. A self-administered survey was used and data were collected from university students who had shopped from an online travel company in the past year. By using SEM modelling, results show that usability, quality of support, and security/privacy positively impact e-satisfaction while e-satisfaction influences both cognitive and affective loyalty. Further analyses showed that personalization and online social network communities significantly influence both cognitive and affective loyalty while perceived social presence has a negative impact on cognitive loyalty. By understanding website drivers of online satisfaction and loyalty, this study contribute to help online travel companies develop strategies positioned to build long-term relationships, and thereby gain a competitive advantage.
E-loyalty, E-satisfaction, Website characteristics, Usefulness of social networking sites, Travel industry, E-loyalty, E-satisfaction, Website characteristics, Usefulness of social networking sites, Travel industry, Tourism, Tourist, Domestic Tourism, International Tourism, Economy, Winter aourism, Mass Tourism, Adjectival Tourism, Sustainable Tourism, Ecotourism, Educational Tourism, Creative Tourism, Experiential Tourism, Social Tourism, Space Tourism, Inbound Tourism, Sports Tourism, Out Bound Tourism, Hospitality, Hospitality Services