How do Different Types of User-Generated Content Attract Travelers? Taking Story and Review on Airbnb as the Example

Sihan Li, Yongli Li, Chao Liu, Ningyuan Fan
Journal of Travel Research

User-generated content (UGC) has been validated as an important factor in travel decisions. However, it is still unclear whether different types of UGC function differently. Social cognitive theory was applied to investigate the different effects of two types of UGC, Story and Review on Airbnb, on attracting travelers through 2,271 accommodations in Beijing from December 2018 to September 2019 via the spatial Durbin model. The results indicate that, first, Story plays a positive direct role on reservation, implying that Story works as a push factor in attracting newcoming travelers to visit story-related accommodations; second, Review works as a pull factor by attracting extant travelers who have investigated nearby accommodations, based on the negative spatial spillover effect; and third, Review works as a moderating factor between Story and reservation. This research extends social cognitive theory to analyze different types of UGC functions in travel decisions.