Destination expertise in online travel communities



Publication Details

Hochmeister, M., Gretzel, U. & Werthner, H. (2013). Destination expertise in online travel communities. In L. Cantoni & Z. Xiang (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism (pp. 218-229). Innsbruck, Austria: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Virtual communities rely on active and committed members who make regular contributions. These contributors typically get psychological and social rewards for their virtual community activities. Given their importance for community sustainability, it is essential for community platforms to understand who their most active members are and what status seeking strategies they employ. This research looks at TripAdvisor and its dedicated Destination Experts to examine how localized the expertise is in this community, how the community acknowledges expertise, whether status seeking strategies can be detected, and if the Destination Experts differ from general reviewers. The findings reveal that Destination Experts are active throughout the TripAdvisor platform and are indeed important and influential pillars of the community.

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