4. From WOM to eWOM
This chapter will present WOM (word-of-mouth) briefly as a source for travel information due to two important discussions. WOM is claimed to be one of the most influential and useful source in tourists’ travel planning process and purchase decision. Moreover, social media is seen as the new form of WOM, or the electronic WOM, abbreviated such as. That’s why discussing theories about WOM is clearly useful in order to understand the role of social media as a source for getting travel information.
4.1. WOM as one of the most influential information sources
The importance and the high influence of interpersonal communications have been recognized in the tourism industry. WOM, which can be defined as informal communications between private parties regarding evaluation of goods and services is one of the most influential sources of information during tourists’ travel planning process. Moreover, they argue that the influence of WOM is different in each step of the consumer decision making process. Travelers often rely on advice from friends and family, especially when the product is an intangible travel experience to a destination. And due to the intangible and experiential nature of service products, such as tourism products, WOM, as an information source tend to be used to lower the perceived risk and uncertainty. And because WOM recommendations lack commercial interests, as the information provider is not interested in getting any financial profits by sharing information or experience, consumers tend to trust more and influenced by this type of information than ads and commercial sources.
WOM plays a potential role in overcoming the challenges of nowadays’ overwhelming information which can lead to confusion, bad decisions or dissatisfaction of choices.
WOM can help skeptic consumers to find credible, trustworthy information among the increased quantity of information available which is generated by marketers, who obviously stress...