A typical type of user generated content is electronic word of mouth (eWOM): word of mouth (WOM) in an online environment. WOM is a consumer-dominated channel of marketing where the sender is independent of the market . It is therefore perceived to be more reliable, credible, and trustworthy by consumers compared to firm-initiated communications . Another eMarketer report proves the persuasive effect of eWOM: among travellers who use peer reviews for their hotel booking, 25 % of infrequent leisure travellers and 33 % of frequent travellers report having changed a hotel stay based on reviews by other consumers.
The research goal of the thesis will be to gain more insights in the impact of reviews on purchase behavior in online travel planning for hotels.