Search Essay

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An Analysis of Search Engine Use for Travel Planning Daniel R. Fesenmaier Professor and Director National Laboratory for Tourism & eCommerce School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA Telephone: 1- 215-204-5612 Email: Zheng Xiang Assistant Professor School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-5017 USA Telephone: 1-940-369-7680 Email: Bing Pan Assistant Professor Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management School of Business and Economics College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424-001, USA Telephone: 1-843-953-2025 E-mail Rob Law Professor School of Hotel and Tourism Management Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong Telephone: 852-2766-6349 Email: An Analysis of Search Engine Use for Travel Planning ABSTRACT Search engines have become one of the primary tools for travel planning and, as such, have become an important part of the Internet marketing strategy of destination organizations. Recently, it has been demonstrated that because of the dynamic relationships among the search engine providers, the tourism industry and travellers, it is essential that destination marketing organizations have a substantial understanding of how search engines are used within the travel planning process. This study proposed a three stage model that provides a framework for examining how online travellers use search engines and how different aspects of the travel planning process shape this use. The model was evaluated based upon a national survey of American online travel planners and the findings provide significant insight into the role of search engines for travel planning. The implications of the study for search engine marketing are discussed as well several challenges for future

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