Online travel agencies: factors influencing tourists’ purchase decisions



E-commerce, online shopping, online travel agencies,,, tourist consumer’s behavior


This study sought to analyse tourists’ purchasing behaviours involving online travel agencies (OTAs) (i.e. and The research focused on identifying which factors most strongly influence buyers’ decision making and whether the degree of importance given to factors changes according to tourists’ sociodemographic, economic or travel characteristics. The results show that most tourists book their accommodations through OTAs mainly because browsing is easier and better prices are offered. The results further suggest that the most important factor when booking accommodations is price, although the overall buying process is quite complex. Online reviews, promotions and photos are also important. The importance online tourists give to price varies by age group, income and country of residence. Online reviews are significant regardless of tourists’ characteristics, except for age. Cluster analyses additionally revealed three different tourist segments based on the importance given to price, online reviews, promotions and photos.

Author Biographies

  • Ivete Pinto, Polytechnic Institute of Porto

    Master by School of Management and Industrial Studies of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto (Portugal) in Hotel Management; certified accountant by the Order of certified accountants of Portugal.

  • Conceição Castro, Porto Accounting and Business School of Polytechnic of Porto; CEPESE

    Conceição Castro, PhD, is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Economics at the School of Accounting and Administration of Porto of the Polytechnic Institute of Oporto (Portugal). She holds a PhD in Management. Is a Research Associate of CEPESE - Centro de Estudos de População Economia e Sociedade, an inter-university research centre established by the University of Porto and the Foundation Engº António de Almeida.


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Tourism/Hospitality: Research Papers

How to Cite

Pinto, I., & Castro, C. (2019). Online travel agencies: factors influencing tourists’ purchase decisions. Tourism & Management Studies, 15(2), 7-20.