A framework of search engine use for travel planning

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Journal of Travel Research, ISSN: 1552-6763, Vol: 50, Issue: 6, Page: 587-601

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Fesenmaier, Daniel; Xiang, Zheng; Pan, Bing; Law, Rob
SAGE Publications
Social Sciences; Business, Management and Accounting
article description
Search engines have become one of the primary tools for travel planning and, as such, have become an important element in the marketing efforts of destination marketing organizations. Recently, it has been demonstrated that because of the dynamic relationships among search engine providers, the tourism industry, and travelers, it is essential that destination marketing organizations understand how search engines are used by travelers within the travel planning process. This study proposed a three-stage model that provides a framework for examining how online travelers use search engines and how different aspects of the travel planning process shape this use. The model was evaluated based on 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 as several challenges for future research. © 2011 SAGE Publications.