In order to investigate the power structure of the online tourism domain in China, this study adopted a lab experiment and a network analysis method to examine the navigational paths of vacation planning behavior of Chinese college students. The analyses included the websites involved in the information search, network statistics of navigational paths, and clickthrough patterns between different types of websites. The navigational path network is a small-world network with shorter average path lengths and shorter network diameter than a web hyperlink network. The tourists generally followed a path of starting web page, general search engines, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), and finally a specific business website. The clickthrough pattern indicated that search engines and OTAs were major intermediaries and thus exerted a higher power in the online tourism domain in China.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management