Luiz Mendes-Filho is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Luiz has attracted a Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship for his proposed research at AUT. The aim of his PhD study is to understand how UGC empowers online consumer behavior in booking accommodation based on experiences of international backpackers staying in YHA (Youth Hostels Association) in Auckland.
Luiz is working closely with his supervisors, Felix Tan from AUT’s Business Information Systems and Simon Milne from the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute. His thesis will have significant implications for both these fields of research.
The findings will contribute to the ongoing efforts of industry and government to address the management of New Zealand tourism product information. A key part of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy is to spread the benefits of the industry and it is difficult to spread the benefits of tourism without easily accessible accommodation. The thesis findings will help the competitiveness of the accommodation sector, a cornerstone to broader tourism development, and will support the growth of tourism in New Zealand.
The research is also aligned with New Zealand’s Digital Strategy which sets out the need for tourism businesses to provide quality websites, and for online booking services to be competitive in this new technology era as trustworthy and consistent web information plays a vital role in attracting visitors and meeting their expectations.
Luiz was previously a lecturer at FARN University (Brazil) teaching in the Business School. He has published 41 papers including book chapters, articles in Brazilian journals and several papers at international conferences. Currently he works as editorial assistant for the Journal of Global Information Management.
PhD Topic: Understanding how User-Generated Content (UGC) empowers online consumer behavior in the travel industry: an extension of the Theory of Planned Behavior
Abstract: The World Wide Web has empowered travellers, enabling them to exchange opinions or experiences with others, and consequently, influencing their travel decisions. For instance, user-generated content (UGC) allows Internet users to make comments in a large variety of forms such as photos, videos, podcasts, ratings, reviews, articles and blogs. When people use the Internet to obtain travel information, they do research about the trip on the Internet, read and generate content and reviews, and interact with other travellers in social networks. This is empowering tourists by giving them the opportunity to receive and pass on recommendations of their travel experiences. In fact, UGC is facilitating tourists’ decision to book accommodation. Therefore, the empowerment provided by the user-generated content has changed the dynamics of the travel industry through its electronic word-of-mouth communication. The aim of this study is to understand how UGC empowers online consumer behavior in booking accommodation. This thesis proposal will explore the behaviour of inbound New Zealand backpackers when they book an accommodation influenced by the user-generated content.