Intention to Purchase Travel Online: A SEM Analysis
Purpose: The study is concerned with the examination and analysis of the factors that affect an international traveler’s intention to purchase travel services online before visiting Thailand. Presently, the Kingdom is the 10th most visited country in the world. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research instrument consisted of a 45 item, seven-part questionnaire which used a seven-level Likert type agreement scale to gather the opinions of the 585 international travelers to Thailand. LISREL 9.1 was used to conduct the initial confirmatory factor analysis [CFA] and the structural equation modeling [SEM] of the 12 hypotheses model, which contained six latent and 18 observed variables. Findings: Trust was determined to play the most significant role in a traveler’s use and purchase of online travel services. There were also significant relationships between the traveler’s attitude and perception of an online website’s ease of use and trust. Results indicated that Booking.com was chosen by the majority of the surveyed respondents (38.12%), while Agoda (21.2%) was a distant second. The variables ranked in importance included trust, perceived ease of use, the traveler’s attitude, the social networks, and the perceived risk. Practical Implications: As yet, it appears that consumer international online travel bookings are still focused on price, with a traveler's trust of the website and underlying company far and away is the most crucial factor for a purchase to be made. Also, companies should know that travelers rely heavily on other’s opinions and this is paramount in importance in the purchase process. Originality/Value: The results of this study sheds some light on how international travelers use social media and networks, which can be of significant economic importance to tourism and infrastructure use planners.