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Asia Pacific Management Review 20 (2015) 210e218

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Asia Pacific Management Review


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Online hotel booking: The effects of brand image, price, trust and value on
purchase intentions
Che-Hui Lien a, Miin-Jye Wen b, *, Li-Ching Huang b, Kuo-Lung Wu c
a
Department of Marketing, International Business, and Entrepreneurship, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC, Canada
b
Department of Statistics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, ROC
c
Department of Information Management, Kun Shan University, Tainan, Taiwan, ROC

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Leisure travelers increasingly prefer to book hotel online when considering the convenience and cost/
Received 21 May 2014 time saving. This research examines the direct and mediating effects of brand image, perceived price,
Accepted 3 March 2015 trust, perceived value on consumers' booking intentions and compares the gender differences in online
Available online 22 June 2015
hotel booking. The outcomes confirm most of the direct and indirect path effects and are consistent with
findings from previous studies. Consumers in Taiwan tend to believe the hotel price is affordable, the
Keywords:
hotel brand is attractive, the hotel is trustworthy, the hotel will offer good value for the price and the
Brand image
likelihood of their booking intentions is high. Brand image, perceived price, and perceived value are the
Price
Trust
three critical determinants directly influencing purchase intentions. However, the impact of trust on
Value purchase intentions is not significant. The differences between males and females on purchase intentions
Purchase intentions are not significant as well. Managerial implications of these results are discussed.
© 2015 College of Management, National Cheng Kung University. Production and hosting by Elsevier
Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction billion), an increase of 30.3% from 2010 (US$ 8.079 billion). Based
on this survey, 36.6% of tourists use the Internet to obtain travel
Based on 2010 Philips Index for Health and Well-being (http:// information, an increase of 3.7% from 2010 (32.9%). Forty-four
www.philips-thecenter.org), among 23 countries surveyed, percent of overnight tourists stayed in hotels.
Taiwan was ranked as the second highest for people facing life/ The Internet has become an important distribution channel in
working pressure, while India was ranked as the highest. To help the hotel industry (Lehto, Kim, & Morrison, 2006). Unlike tradi-
release stress, the Taiwan government encourages people to travel tional hotel booking through travel agents, online hotel booking
either domestically or internationally. A two-day weekend policy offers benefits to consumers such as accessing more photos and
has inspired people living in Taiwan to travel to suburban areas videos, a full description of the hotel property and location, better
close to the mountain or the ocean (e.g., Kenting). pricing, and no additional booking fees (O'Connor & Frew, 2004;
According to the 2011 Survey of Travel by R.O.C. (Taiwan) Citi- Sparks & Browning, 2011). Considering the convenience and cost/
zens (http://admin.taiwan.net.tw), the proportion of people un- time saving, leisure travelers in Taiwan increasingly prefer to use
dertaking domestic tourist travel in 2011 was 95.4%, an increase of the Internet to book hotels and search for information regarding
1.5% from 2010 (93.9%). The proportion of people taking domestic brand, price, and service (2011 Survey of Travel by R.O.C. (Taiwan)
tourist travel is defined as the proportion of people who took at Citizens). Many hotels have noted this trend and have provided
least one domestic trip during the year. The total expenditure on access to secure online reservation systems.
domestic travel in 2011 in Taiwan was NT$ 310.3 billion (US$ 10.527 Several studies have investigated the impact of brand image on
consumer behavior in the service sector (Aghekyan-Simonian,
Forsythe, Kwon, & Chattaraman, 2012; Ryu, Han, & Kim, 2008).
Due to the intangible elements of the hotel industry, some tangible
* Corresponding author. Department of Statistics, National Cheng Kung Univer-
sity, No.1, University Road, Tainan 70101, Taiwan, ROC. Tel.: þ886 6 2757575x53629. cues, e.g., hotel brand name and onsite amenities, are important in
E-mail address: mjwen@mail.ncku.edu.tw (M.-J. Wen). shaping and influencing customers' behavior. To build a strong
Peer review under responsibility of College of Management, National Cheng brand, a hotel should develop its own distinctive image that
Kung University.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apmrv.2015.03.005
1029-3132/© 2015 College of Management, National Cheng Kung University. Production and hosting by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.
C.-H. Lien et al. / Asia Pacific Management Review 20 (2015) 210e218 211

differentiates itself from competitors and communicate the major and mediating effects of brand image, price, trust, and value on
benefits to its target customers. Consumers are more likely to online hotel booking intentions in Taiwan as well as examine
purchase products/services with well-established brand names gender differences in online hotel booking.
(Aghekyan-Simonian et al., 2012). Product price has long been The article is organized as follows. In the subsequent sessions,
considered a key predictor of consumers' purchase decision- we review the literature and develop the hypotheses. We then
making. Price may convey information to the consumer regarding summarize the research methodology, and report the results.
product/service quality and value (Erickson & Johansson, 1985). Finally, we conclude with discussions.
Electronic markets allow customers to easily compare prices among
vendors and find the affordable one. If a product/service price is 2. Literature review and research hypotheses
perceived as reasonable, consumers may have greater intentions to
purchase (Grewal, Krishnan, Baker, & Borin, 1998). Trust facilitates a 2.1. Explanation of constructs
person's confidence and his/her willingness to have faith in the
other party (Moorman, Zaltman, & Deshpande, 1992). Building 2.1.1. Brand image
consumers' trust is one of the factors determining the success of a Brand image is a determinant affecting customers' subjective
service provider (Kim, Xu, & Gupta, 2012). Value is an important perceptions and consequent behaviors (Ryu et al., 2008) and is an
concept in understanding customers. Past research found that extrinsic cue when consumers are evaluating a product/service
value is positively associated with behavioral intentions in the before purchasing (Zeithaml, 1988). According to the theory of
hospitality industry (Ha & Jang, 2010). reasoned action (TRA, Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975), consumers consider
Much of the purchase effort occurs prior to the actual buying the consequences of alternative behaviors before engaging in them
decision. Therefore, it is important for hoteliers to analyze the key (Bang, Ellinger, Hadjimarcou, & Traichal, 2000). Consumers'
antecedents and mediators of purchase intentions to know how to behavioral intent is derived from attitude toward the behavior and
favorably influence customers in the pre-purchase stage. Although subjective norms (Bang et al., 2000). Keller (1993, p.3) defined
many studies have examined various factors affecting online pur- brand image as perceptions about a brand as reflected by the brand
chasing decision (Aghekyan-Simonian et al., 2012; Chen, 2009; associations held in consumer memory. A brand association has a
Everard & Galletta, 2006; Javadi, Dolatabadi, Nourbakhsh, level of strength, and the link to a brand will be stronger when the
Poursaeedi, & Asadollahi, 2012; Yu & Wu, 2007; Zhou, Dai, & link is based on consumers' experience or the exposures to com-
Zhang, 2007), there has been very little research regarding online munications (Aaker, 1991). Brand associations are classified into
hotel booking in Taiwan. Chiang and Jang (2007) collected data three categories including attributes, benefits, and attitudes and
from students at a major mid-western university in the US and these associations can vary based on their favorability, strength,
proposed an integrative model to investigate the direct impacts of and uniqueness (Keller, 1993). The more favorable the brand image,
price and brand image on service quality, trust, value and leisure the more positive the attitude toward the branded product and its
travelers' purchase intentions for online hotel booking. Their study attributes (Aghekyan-Simonian et al., 2012). Brand image aids a
was conducted solely in the US and their model needs to be further consumer in recognizing his/her needs and wants regarding the
verified in other countries. brand and distinguishes the brand from other rivals (Anwar, Gulzar,
Service quality is defined as the consumer's comparison of ex- Sohail, & Akram, 2011).
pected service level with actual service performance (Parasuraman,
Zeithaml, & Berry, 1985). Hotel service quality is better measured 2.1.2. Price
after consumers actually experience the hotel accommodation, and From the consumer's perspective, price represents the amount
hence, is not appropriate to use in the case of online booking. On- of money consumers must give up to get the product/service
line hotel booking involves interaction with the website. Website (Zeithaml, 1988). Many consumers use price as a quality-signaling
quality is an antecedent of trust (Kim, Jin, & Swinney, 2009) and cue reflecting the conventional wisdom that “you get what you
purchase intention (Chen, Hsu, & Lin, 2010), and is analyzed as a pay for” (Erickson & Johansson, 1985). Consumers do not always
multi-dimensional concept (Chen et al., 2010). Adding website remember actual prices of products. Instead, they encode prices in
quality into this integrative model will make this model compli- way that are meaningful to them (Zeithaml, 1988). In the online
cated as more facets would have to be tested and evaluated. Due to shopping, customers tend to compare the objective prices (price
this complexity in measuring the effects of other constructs on offered by the current vendor) with reference prices (price offered
purchase intentions, website quality will not be included in the by other vendors) and then form their perceptions of price (Kim
scope of the study. Moreover, in Chiang and Jang's model, the direct et al., 2012). Price, as a heuristic cue, is more readily observable
effects of brand image on perceived price and purchase intentions than quality (Yoon, Oh, Song, Kim, & Kim, 2014). Under the
and the influence of trust on purchase intentions were not tested. competitive environment, low prices (or reasonable price) help
The mediating effects of brand image on purchase intentions hotels achieve a sustainable advantage within their product mar-
through value and trust were also not examined, and gender dif- kets (Bojanic, 1996). Instead of a single price, consumers usually
ferences in online hotel booking were not investigated in their have a range of prices that are acceptable for an intended purchase.
integrative model. Brand image was identified as an important
antecedent directly influencing price and online purchase in- 2.1.3. Trust
tentions (Aghekyan-Simonian et al., 2012; Oh, 2000). Trust is an Trust is one of the central features of buyer-seller relationships.
important determinant directly influencing the user's behavioral The role of trust in social exchange relations has been the subject of
intentions to purchase online (Everard & Galletta, 2006; Ling, bin researchers' interests (Wu, Chen, & Chung, 2010). Trust refers to a
Daud, Piew, Keoy, & Hassan, 2011). Research has shown that positive belief about the reliability and dependability of a person or
although men and women are equally likely to use the Internet for an object (Everard & Galletta, 2006). Trust builds when the
personal or business purposes, more men than women are using customer has confidence in a service provider's reliability and
the Internet for online business transactions and purchases (Hasan, integrity (Kim, Kim, & Kim, 2009). Consumers' trust in the service
2010; Rodgers & Harris, 2003; Van Slyke, Comunale, & Belanger, providers can help reduce their cognitive risk and insecurity and
2002). To improve Chiang and Jang's integrative model and thus enable the maintenance of the long-term relationship (Gefen,
generate insightful information, our article aims to test the direct 2000). The more a customer trusts a website, the lower the
212 C.-H. Lien et al. / Asia Pacific Management Review 20 (2015) 210e218

perceived online transaction risk, and the greater the intention to intentions. Thus, we infer that price, trust, and value have medi-
purchase on that website (Mansour, Kooli, & Utama, 2014). In on- ating effects on the relationship between brand image and will-
line hotel booking, customers might be vulnerable to accommo- ingness to purchase. This leads to the following hypotheses:
dations and services provided by the hoteliers. Customers expect
H1. Brand image will have a positive effect on perceived price
that hotel will deliver services as promised on the website and the
expectation is dependent on the trust the customer has on the H2. Brand image will have a positive effect on trust
hotel. Therefore, a hotel can employ trust as a powerful marketing
H3. Brand image will have a positive effect on perceived value
tool to build customer loyalty (Kim et al., 2009; Kim et al., 2009).
H4. Brand image will have a positive effect on purchase intentions
2.1.4. Value
H5. Brand image will have a positive effect on purchase intentions
A generally accepted definition of value was proposed by
mediating through perceived price
Zeithaml (1988). Zeithaml (1988, p.14) found that, although there
are different consumer expressions of value, perceived value can be H6. Brand image will have a positive effect on purchase intentions
captured in one overall definition as the consumer's overall mediating through trust
assessment of the utility of a product/service based on perceptions
H7. Brand image will have a positive effect on purchase intentions
of what is received and what is given (i.e., a trade-off between
mediating through perceived value
perceived benefits and perceived cost). Lee and Overby (2004)
identified two types of online shopping values: utilitarian value
and experiential value. Utilitarian value is an overall assessment of
functional benefits including the price savings, service excellence, 2.2.2. Relationships among price, value, and purchase intentions
time savings, and merchandise selection dimensions. Experiential In the hotel industry, a reasonable price results in greater
value is an overall representation of experiential benefits from the customer perceived value (Lee, 2012) and enhances consumers'
entertainment, the visual appeal, and the interactivity involved purchase intentions (Chiang & Jang, 2007). Duman and Mattila
with online shopping (Lee & Overby, 2004). In an empirical study of (2005) identified price as an important antecedent of perceived
customer value in the hotel industry, Nasution and Mavondo value of tourism services. Therefore, in the acceptable price range, a
(2008) found that different classes of hotels deliver significantly lower price for a given quality (i.e., perceived price is reasonable)
different levels of customer value in terms of reputation for quality leads to a higher perceived value and consequently to a greater
and prestige. intention to purchase (Dodds et al., 1991). Faryabi, Sadeghzadeh,
and Saed's research (2012) of online shopping indicated that
2.1.5. Purchase intentions price discount (reasonable price) has a positive effect on con-
Purchase intention is the likelihood that a customer will buy a sumers' purchase intentions. In the study of retailing, lower-price
particular product/service (Dodds, Monroe, & Grewal, 1991). Pur- promotion was proved to strongly increase consumers' perceived
chase intention is a vital predictor of actual buying behavior and shopping value (Yoon et al., 2014). These findings provide the
this relationship has been empirically examined in hospitality and theoretical basis for the hypotheses of the direct and mediating
tourism industry (Bai, Law, & Wen, 2008; Sparks & Browning, effects of perceived price on perceived value and purchase
2011). In the online hotel booking, purchase intention reflects the intentions.
desire of a consumer to book a room through the hotel's website. H8. Perceived reasonable price will have a positive effect on
Previous research has shown that brand image, price, trust, and perceived value
value are driving forces of online purchase intentions (Chiang &
Jang, 2007; Chen & Dubinsky, 2003; Everard & Galletta, 2006). H9. Perceived reasonable price will have a positive effect on
purchase intentions
2.2. Hypotheses development H10. Perceived reasonable price will have a positive effect on
purchase intentions mediating through perceived value
2.2.1. Influence of brand image on trust, value, price, and purchase
intentions
In Aghekyan-Simonian et al.'s (2012) research of online pur-
2.2.3. Relationships among trust, value, and purchase intentions
chase intentions for apparel products, the outcomes showed that
In an empirical study using a lab experiment, Everard and
brand image positively influences purchase intentions through the
Galletta (2006) showed that trust in the online store positively
reduction of perceived risk. Brand image is an extrinsic cue for
influences the user's intentions to purchase from the online store.
evaluation of product/service price and a better brand image results
Mansour et al. (2014) adopted an integrative approach to address
in a higher perceived price (Grewal et al., 1998). Ryu et al. (2008)
the antecedents and consequences of online trust on purchase
reported that a favorable restaurant image positively influences
intention and the findings showed that purchase intention is
consumers' perceived value and their willingness to purchase.
positively influenced by online trust. Ling et al.'s (2011) study also
Chen, Yeh, and Huan's (2014) study of consumption in nostalgic
supported the positive relationship between trust and online pur-
restaurants indicated that restaurant image has a positive impact
chase intentions. In Johnson's (2007) study in both offline and
on consumption intention. A good brand image improves a con-
online banking, trust in the firm has a significant, positive impact
sumer's trust because it can diminish the risk of purchase (Chen,
on perceived value from the firm. Chong, Yang, and Wong (2003)
2010; Chiang & Jang, 2007). A reasonable product/service price, a
presented the mediating role of value between trust and pur-
satisfactory value, and a trust in the brand will make consumers
chase intentions. Hence, the proposed hypotheses are:
have greater intention to purchase the product/service (Dodds
et al., 1991; Kim et al., 2012). Based on the foregoing discussions, H11. Trust will have a positive effect on perceived value
although the direct effects of brand image on trust, perceived value,
H12. Trust will have a positive effect on purchase intentions
and price have been widely discussed in the hospitality/marketing
literature, little empirical research investigated both the direct and H13. Trust will have a positive effect on purchase intentions
mediating effects of brand image on online hotel booking mediating through perceived value
C.-H. Lien et al. / Asia Pacific Management Review 20 (2015) 210e218 213

2.2.4. Relationship between value and purchase intentions situated at the end of Kenting's main street. Red Garden Resort
Chen and Chen (2010) examined the visitor experience of her- features a touch of Bali style and is in the mid-scale hotel segment.
itage tourism and found that perceived value is a pivotal determi- Kenting Youth Activity Center is in a tranquil setting surrounded by
nant of behavioral intentions. Kim, Sun, and Kim's (2013) research natural views of the beaches and mountains and is famous for its
showed that restaurant guests' perceived values (i.e., hedonic and southern Min style architecture. It is the largest low-priced econ-
social value) positively affect their behavior intentions to use social omy hotel in Kenting. The respondents were required to review the
commerce. Ha and Jang (2010) investigated American customers' three hotel brands, price, indoor and outdoor facilities, restaurants,
perceived value regarding dining experience in Korean restaurants location, the room features and onsite amenities and to identify
and the outcomes also support the positive influence of perceived which hotel they would choose to book online. The samples were
value on behavioral intentions. In an online retail research, value collected from the database of Lifewin (www.lifewin.com.tw).
had a positive influence on online purchase intentions (Chen & Lifewin is an online survey network consisting of 50,000 members
Dubinsky, 2003). Thus, we propose. in Taiwan. This research employed online, stratified sampling and
sent the questionnaire to 1200 Lifewin members including 600 in
H14. Perceived value will have a positive effect on purchase
the north, 300 in the middle, and 300 in the south of Taiwan. A total
intentions
of 390 members (who had reserved a room from a hotel website in
the last 12 months) replied and the response rate was 32.5%. After
3. Methodology deleting samples with questionable responses (e.g., participants
answered “Strongly Disagree” or “Strongly Agree” to all questions
3.1. Research model appeared in the second section of the questionnaire), the numbers
of valid observations in the north, middle, and south of Taiwan
The research model consists of the antecedents of purchase were 173 (47.3%), 91 (24.9%), and 102 (27.9%), respectively, for a
intentions including brand image, perceived price, value, and trust, total sample size of 366. To measure the representativeness of the
investigating the effects of brand image, perceived price, and trust observations in each region, a goodness-of-fit test was used and the
on value, and examining the influence of brand image on perceived result (p-value ¼ 0.747) is not significant, showing that there is no
price and trust. The proposed model is shown in Fig. 1. significant difference between the population percentage and the
sample percentage in the three regions. Stratified sampling is a
3.2. Data collection probability sampling approach that is distinguished by the
following two steps. First, the population is divided into two or
The following two criteria guide our sample selection. First, only more mutually exclusive and exhaustive subsets. Second, simple
those respondents who had reserved a room from a hotel website random sampling is employed to choose samples from each subset.
in the last 12 months were qualified to participate in the survey. In our research, the total samples were first divided into sub-
Second, this study required the respondents to be 18 years and samples based on different regions (north, middle, and south) in
above to ensure they are responsible for using their own credit card Taiwan. Then the stratified samples were randomly selected from
when making an online hotel booking. Based on the 2011 statistical the north, middle, and south of Taiwan.
report of Ministry of the Interior, Taiwan (Statistical Yearbook of
Interior, http://sowf.moi.gov.tw/stat/year/elist.htm), the popula-
tion of those aged 18 years and over in the north, middle, and south 3.3. Survey instrument
of Taiwan are 15,797,000 (47.94%), 9,059,659 (27.49%), and
8,093,910 (24.57%), respectively. A survey questionnaire was developed with three sections. In
A scenario approach was used in this study. The scenario as- the first section, after reviewing the three hotel information, the
sumes that the respondents are planning to visit Kenting for 2e3 respondents were asked to select the hotel they would reserve a
days on vacation and are using the Internet to search and book a room at. The result showed that the numbers of bookings for
hotel. Kenting is located in southern Taiwan and is a popular scenic Howard Beach Resort Kenting, Red Garden Resort, and Kenting
area boasting fabulous ocean and mountain views. Three hotel Youth Activity Center were 66 (18%), 222 (61%), and 78 (21%),
brands (Howard Beach Resort Kenting, Red Garden Resort, and respectively. Over 60% of leisure travelers chose to book the mid-
Kenting Youth Activity Center), representing three different levels scale hotel and the result is consistent with the 2010 Taiwan do-
of price, were used in this scenario. The use of three hotel brands in mestic tourist travel report - most domestic tourists chose ac-
different price segments is expected to provide a robust test of commodations in mid-scale hotels. In the second section,
model relationships (Chiang & Jang, 2007; Nasution & Mavondo, respondents' level of perceived price, brand image, trust, perceived
2008) and will enable a comparison of the differences in percep- value and purchase intentions were measured. Price items were
tions among the five marketing constructs. Howard Beach Resort modified from Chiang and Jang (2007) and Dodds et al. (1991).
Kenting is a well-known luxury hotel with a superior location Brand image items were adapted from the study of Keller (1993)
and del Río, Vazquez, and Iglesias (2001). Trust and purchase in-
tentions items developed by Chiang and Jang (2007) were used.
Value items were modified from Zeithaml (1988) and Chiang and
Jang (2007). The 21 items were measured by a five-point Likert
scale ranging from “strongly disagree ¼ 1” to “strongly agree ¼ 5”.
The third section includes demographic questions. The developed
questionnaire was pre-tested on 31 online shoppers and the result
showed the instructions and questions were well understood.
Table 1 demonstrates the breakdown of the respondents in terms of
gender, age, marriage, education, and monthly income. Among the
respondents, 54.1% were females and 10.9% were married. The re-
spondents tend to be young (86.1% of them were aged 18e30),
Fig. 1. The research model and the proposed relationships. single (89.1% of them were not married), and well educated (94.8%
214 C.-H. Lien et al. / Asia Pacific Management Review 20 (2015) 210e218

of them had a bachelor or graduate degree). 89.3% of the re- Table 2


spondents' monthly income were under NT$40,000 (US$1333). Descriptive statistics of measurement items.

Measurement Howard Red Garden Kenting Youth


4. Results Kenting Resort Activity Center

Items Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD


4.1. Descriptive statistics of measurement items Brand Image (BI)
BI1 4.12 0.65 3.65 0.70 3.99 0.75
The mean and standard deviation (SD) of the measurement BI2 4.09 0.63 3.86 0.70 3.72 0.80
BI3 4.05 0.62 3.92 0.69 3.68 0.78
items are shown in Table 2. The overall mean of respondents'
BI4 3.71 0.84 3.12 0.90 3.21 0.90
perceived price in each hotel is greater than 3 indicating the BI5 4.06 0.68 3.57 0.73 3.76 0.73
perceived price is reasonable. However, the mean score of P1 (“the Overall Mean 4.01 3.62 3.67
price listed by this hotel is inexpensive”) of the Howard Beach Price (P)
Resort Kenting is 2.86, demonstrating that the respondents did not P1 2.86 0.86 3.29 0.79 4.47 0.70
P2 3.42 0.75 3.85 0.69 4.42 0.66
think the price in this luxury hotel was inexpensive. Compared
P3 3.67 0.79 3.97 0.72 4.51 0.60
with the Howard Beach Resort Kenting (overall mean: 3.32) and the P4 3.33 0.85 3.75 0.71 4.35 0.74
Red Garden Resort (overall mean: 3.72), the perceived price of the Overall Mean 3.32 3.72 4.44
Kenting Youth Activity Center (overall mean: 4.44) was more Trust (T)
favorable. The overall mean of brand image and trust was rated T1 4.02 0.57 3.82 0.61 4.15 0.69
T2 4.11 0.53 3.80 0.62 4.01 0.75
higher in the Howard Beach Resort Kenting (brand image: 4.01; T3 4.08 0.51 3.82 0.64 3.97 0.68
trust: 4.08) in comparison with that of the Red Garden Resort T4 4.11 0.59 3.77 0.63 4.04 0.65
(brand image: 3.62; trust: 3.80) and the Kenting Youth Activity Overall Mean 4.08 3.80 4.04
Center (brand image: 3.67; trust: 4.04). The overall mean value in Value (V)
V1 3.86 0.52 3.92 0.66 4.04 0.73
the three hotels was almost the same (Howard Beach Resort
V2 3.94 0.58 3.92 0.62 3.82 0.77
Kenting: 3.90; Red Garden Resort: 3.92; Kenting Youth Activity V3 3.83 0.62 3.95 0.59 3.95 0.74
Center: 3.90) showing that the three hotels provide customers with V4 3.98 0.60 3.90 0.64 3.78 0.82
good value based on the price. In terms of purchase intentions, the Overall Mean 3.90 3.92 3.90
respondents' willingness to book the Kenting Youth Activity Center Purchase Intentions (PI)
PI1 3.89 0.59 4.10 0.63 3.92 0.70
online (overall mean: 4.00) was higher than their willingness to PI2 3.62 0.67 3.95 0.69 4.19 0.69
book the Howard Beach Resort Kenting (overall mean: 3.73) and PI3 3.74 0.64 3.75 0.76 3.83 0.84
the Red Garden Resort (overall mean: 3.92). PI4 3.68 0.66 3.88 0.70 4.06 0.73
Overall Mean 3.73 3.92 4.00

4.2. Test of gender differences

Table 3 shows the mean score and the significance results be- good value for the price”), and V4 (“The overall expected value of
tween males and females in terms of the five constructs. The out- staying at this hotel is high”).
comes indicated males and females have significant differences in
perceived price and trust. There are no significant differences be-
tween males and females on purchase intentions. Regarding brand
image and value, males and females have significant differences 4.3. Structure equation modeling (SEM)
only in items BI4 (“this hotel brand is a social status symbol”), BI5
(“this hotel brand has a good reputation”), V1 (“the hotel offers The hypothesized model is tested employing structural equation
modeling (SEM) using AMOS 19. The process of applying the SEM
technique involves two steps. First, confirmatory factor analysis
Table 1 (CFA) tests a measurement theory based on overall model fit and
Demographic characteristics of the respondents (N ¼ 366). other evidences of construct reliability and validity. Second, the
Frequency % structural model takes the information about measures into ac-
Gender
count and examines the structural relationships among the five
Males 168 45.9 constructs (Hair, Black, Babin, & Anderson, 2010).
Females 198 54.1 CFA using maximum likelihood estimation was first applied to
Age test how well these 21 measures represent the five constructs. The
18e20 26 7.1
overall model c2 is 611.552 with 51 degrees of freedom (c2/
21e30 289 79.0
31e40 45 12.3 d.f. ¼ 3.398) and is significant at p < 0.001, implying the model was
41e50 3 0.8 not adequate. However, the c2 value is very sensitive to sample size
51þ 3 0.8 and is generally recommended for use with moderate samples only
Married (e.g., 100e200) (Hu & Bentler, 1999). Given the problem associated
Yes 40 10.9
No 326 89.1
with using the c2 test alone and the large valid sample size of 366,
Education other fit indices were employed to test the overall model fit.
High School Graduate 19 5.2 CFI (an incremental fit index) and RMSEA (an absolute fit
Bachelor's Degree 193 52.7 measure) are widely used indices of model fit (Kline, 2011). The CFI
Graduate Degree 154 42.1
value of 0.924 exceeded the recommended cut-off level of 0.9 and
Monthly Income
< NT$20,000 (¼US$667) 239 65.3 the RMSEA value of 0.071 was lower than the value of 0.08 indi-
NT$20,000eNT$40,000 (US$667eUS$1333) 88 24.0 cating an adequate model fit (Kline, 2011). Moreover, the RMR value
NT$40,001eNT$60,000 (US$1334eUS$2000) 31 8.5 of 0.038 (<0.05) and the AGFI value of 0.855 (>0.8) also support a
NT$60,001eNT$80,000 (US$2001eUS$2667) 4 1.1 good model fit (MacCallum & Hong, 1997). In sum, the hypothe-
>NT$80,001(US$2668) 4 1.1
sized model exhibits a good fit with the data collected.
C.-H. Lien et al. / Asia Pacific Management Review 20 (2015) 210e218 215

Table 3 image on trust (standardized coefficient ¼ 0.679), trust on value


Test of gender differences. (standardized coefficient ¼ 0.424), and brand image on perceived
Measurement Males Females P-Value price (standardized coefficient ¼ 0.300) are larger in comparison
Items Mean Mean
with other direct path coefficients. In the indirect path estimates,
the outcomes indicated brand image, perceived price and trust
Brand Image (BI)
have a significant, positive influence on purchase intentions
BI1 3.88 3.75 0.116
BI2 3.87 3.87 0.996 mediating through value. Therefore, value plays a pivotal, medi-
BI3 3.91 3.88 0.672 ating role on purchase intentions. In addition, brand image has a
BI4 3.43 3.08 0.000* significant, positive effect on purchase intentions mediating by
BI5 3.82 3.59 0.004*
perceived price.
Price (P)
P1 3.68 3.28 0.000*
P2 4.02 3.79 0.004*
P3 4.16 3.92 0.003* 5. Discussions and conclusion
P4 3.93 3.69 0.006*
Trust (T)
5.1. Discussion of findings
T1 4.00 3.86 0.033*
T2 3.96 3.82 0.025*
T3 3.98 3.83 0.027* This study contributes to the literature in examining the effects
T4 4.01 3.79 0.001* of brand image, perceived price, trust, and value on Taiwanese
Value (V)
online hotel booking decisions, and comparing gender differences
V1 4.01 3.87 0.045*
V2 3.96 3.93 0.607
in these constructs. The results confirm most of the path effects
V3 3.98 3.91 0.350 showing that brand image positively influences perceived price,
V4 4.03 3.78 0.000* trust, value, and purchase intentions. Price is found to have a pos-
Purchase Intentions (PI) itive impact on value and purchase intentions. Value has a signifi-
PI1 4.04 4.02 0.699
cant, positive effect on purchase intentions. However, although
PI2 4.01 3.89 0.129
PI3 3.85 3.70 0.062 trust positively affects value, the impact of trust on purchase in-
PI4 3.91 3.86 0.527 tentions is not significant.
Note: *p < 0.05.
Brand image is a key driver positively influencing purchase in-
tentions. The outcome is consistent with Aghekyan-Simonian et al.
(2012) and Chen, Yeh, and Huan (2014). The improvement of brand
Internal consistency was assessed by construct reliability (CR). reputation strengthens consumers' intentions of booking. Brand
All the CRs, shown in Table 5, exceed the threshold value of 0.7 image is an important antecedent (a total effect of 0.679) in
(Hair et al., 2010) indicating good reliability. Convergent validity determining trust, reflecting that the attractive and valuable brand
was verified by average variance extracted (AVE) (Fornell & Larcker, increases consumers' trust of the product/service associated with
1981; Hair et al., 2010). The AVE for each construct exceeds 0.5 the brand. The result is concordant with Chen (2010) and Chiang
(Table 5), which suggests adequate convergence (Fornell & Larcker, and Jang (2007). Brand image positively influences price and
1981; Hair et al., 2010). The CFA results (Table 4) also support the value exhibiting a pleased and reputed brand escalates the level of
convergent validity because factor loadings for all measurement price and improves product/service value. These findings are
items are greater than 0.5 (Hair et al., 2010). Discriminant validity is consistent with Grewal et al. (1998) and Ryu et al. (2008). However,
acceptable because the AVE for each construct exceeds the squared the impact of brand image on purchase intentions mediating from
correlation coefficient between any two constructs (Fornell & trust is not significant. Perceived price is a key factor positively
Larcker, 1981; Hair et al., 2010). influencing purchase intentions indicating that an acceptable and
The evaluation of the structural model is used to examine the appropriate price enhances consumers' booking intentions. The
hypothesized relationships. In line with the value and significance of result is consistent with Chiang and Jang (2007) and Faryabi,
the path coefficients (shown in Table 6), brand image appears to Sadeghzadeh, and Saed (2012). The significant, positive effect of
have a significant and positive impact on perceived price, trust, price on value shows that a reasonable price improves consumers'
value, and purchase intentions. The positive effects of brand image perceived value, which is compatible with Lee (2012) and Yoon
on purchase intentions mediating from price and value are signifi- et al. (2014). Value is the most important determinant of pur-
cant but the mediating effect on purchase intentions via trust is not chase intentions with a total effect of 0.610 showing that if the hotel
significant. The total effect of brand image on purchase intentions is offers customers satisfactory value, they are more likely to book the
0.42 (direct effect (¼0.166) plus indirect effect (¼0.078 þ hotel. This result is consistent with the studies of Oh (2000), Chiang
0.176 ¼ 0.254)). Therefore, H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H7 are corrobo- and Jang (2007), and Kim et al. (2013). The impact of trust on
rated but H6 is rejected. Perceived price has a significant, positive purchase intentions is surprisingly not significant, demonstrating
effect (¼0.261) on purchase intentions and it positively influences that trust is not a predictor directly influencing Taiwanese online
purchase intentions mediating through perceived value (¼0.162), hotel booking decisions. The outcome is different with previous
providing a total effect of 0.423. Perceived price is also found to have studies (Everard & Galletta, 2006; Ling et al., 2011; Mansour et al.,
a positively impact on value. In this way, H8, H9, and H10 are sta- 2014). One possible reason to explain this is that the three levels of
tistically supported. Trust positively influences perceived value and hotels used in this study are well-known and have operated in
has a significant, positive effect on purchase intentions mediating Kenting for many years. Consumers know what to expect from
through perceived value. However, the impact of trust on purchase these three hotels and feel they are reliable. Therefore, trust might
intentions is not significant. Accordingly, H11 and H13 are supported already exist among consumers before they book the hotel and it is
but H12 is rejected. Finally, perceived value positively influences not a factor directly affecting Taiwanese booking decisions. How-
purchase intentions supporting H14. ever, trust has a positive, indirect effect on purchase intentions
Based on the direct path estimates, it is noted that value is the through the mediator of value. Improving the trust relationship
most important predictor of purchase intentions (standardized with consumers enhances consumers' perceived value which will
coefficient ¼ 0.610). In addition, the path coefficients of brand eventually strengthen their purchase intentions.
216 C.-H. Lien et al. / Asia Pacific Management Review 20 (2015) 210e218

Table 4
Confirmatory factor analysis results.

Constructs and items Factor loading

Brand Image (BI)


BI1: the hotel brand is reliable 0.755
BI2: the hotel brand is attractive 0.877
BI3: the hotel brand is pleasing 0.846
BI4: the hotel brand is a social status symbol 0.652
BI5: the hotel brand has a good reputation 0.820
Price (P)
P1: the price listed by this hotel is inexpensive 0.770
P2: the hotel price is reasonable 0.885
P3: the hotel price is affordable 0.802
P4: the hotel price is appropriate 0.807
Trust (T)
T1: what the hotel says about its product/service is true 0.802
T2: if the hotel makes a claim about its product/service, it is true 0.908
T3: I feel I know what to expect from the hotel 0.884
T4: I believe this hotel would be reliable 0.866
Value (V)
V1: the hotel offers good value for the price 0.815
V2: the hotel provides me satisfied value 0.861
V3: it is worth to book the hotel 0.869
V4: the overall expected value of staying at this hotel is high 0.717
Purchase intentions (PI)
PI1: after reviewing the hotel website, the likelihood of booking this hotel is high 0.746
PI2: if I am going to book the hotel, I would consider booking this hotel at the price shown 0.795
PI3: the probability that I would consider booking this hotel is high 0.793
PI4: my willingness to book this hotel is high 0.815

Table 5 Howard Beach Resort Kenting and the Red Garden Resort, the
Correlations (squared correlations), construct reliability, and AVE. perceived price is most favorable and the booking intention is
BI P T V PI highest for the Kenting Youth Activity Center. This is not surprising
BI 1
because the majority of the respondents have income levels from
P 0.271* (0.073) 1 low to medium and they are generally price sensitive. For those
T 0.672* (0.452) 0.406* (0.165) 1 facing budget constraints, the Kenting Youth Activity Center pro-
V 0.635* (0.403) 0.499* (0.249) 0.706*(0.498) 1 vides a low rate with satisfactory value and reliable brand image,
PI 0.585* (0.342) 0.600* (0.360) 0.584* (0.341) 0.802* (0.643) 1
resulting in relatively high booking intentions. The Howard Beach
CR 0.894 0.889 0.923 0.886 0.864
AVE 0.630 0.667 0.749 0.662 0.615 Resort Kenting is rated highest in brand image and trust showing
that this upscale luxury hotel is considered to be more reliable, is a
Note: *p < 0.001; BI, brand image; P, price; T, trust; V, value; PI, purchase intention;
CR, construct reliability; AVE, average variance extracted.
social status symbol, and trusted by consumers to provide consis-
tent, dependable performance. The perceived value is almost equal
among the three hotels reflecting that consumers feel the quality
In terms of the overall mean of the five constructs, Taiwanese received is commensurate with the price they pay.
tend to believe the hotel price is affordable, the hotel brand is In comparison with females, males had higher ratings for price
attractive, the hotel is trustworthy, and the hotel will offer good and trust, reflecting the reality that female consumers in Taiwan are
value for the price. After reviewing the hotel websites, the likeli- relatively price sensitive and concerned about reliability. Males also
hood of booking by Taiwanese is high. In comparison with the show a relatively high rating in recognizing the hotel brand

Table 6
Path results of structural model.

Hypotheses Paths Standardized coefficient P-Value

Direct Paths
H1 Brand Image Perceived Price 0.300 0.000*
H2 Brand Image Trust 0.679 0.000*
H3 Brand Image Value 0.289 0.000*
H4 Brand Image Purchase Intentions 0.166 0.000*
H8 Perceived Price Value 0.260 0.000*
H9 Perceived Price Purchase Intentions 0.261 0.000*
H11 Trust Value 0.424 0.000*
H12 Trust Purchase Intentions 0.061 0.342
H14 Value Purchase Intentions 0.610 0.000*
Indirect Paths
H5 Brand Image Perceived Price Purchase Intentions 0.078 0.000*
H6 Brand Image Trust Purchase Intentions 0.041 0.172
H7 Brand Image Value Purchase Intentions 0.176 0.000*
H10 Perceived Price Value Purchase Intentions 0.162 0.008*
H13 Trust Value Purchase Intentions 0.259 0.000

Note: *p < 0.01.


C.-H. Lien et al. / Asia Pacific Management Review 20 (2015) 210e218 217

reputation, the social status symbol of the brand, the value for the have examined, other possible determinants, such as website
price, and the expected high value. Males are more easily convinced quality, satisfaction, and online reviews, might be important factors
by good brand reputation and satisfactory value than females. influencing consumers' booking intentions.
However, the differences are not significant between males and Acknowledging these limitations, for future research, we sug-
females on purchase intentions, indicating an inconsistency with gest a cross-cultural comparison of online hotel booking to confirm
findings of previous studies. One possible reason is that most males the model effectiveness. In addition, examining the effects of online
and females in the sample are young and well-educated. 86.31% of reviews, website quality, and satisfaction on booking intentions
males (145 out of 168) and 85.86% (170 out of 198) of females were and balancing the representativeness of online booking customers
aged between 18 and 30 and are part of the Internet generation. will generate valuable information in understanding consumers'
94.04% (158 out of 168) of males and 95.45% (189 out of 198) of online hotel booking decisions.
females have a bachelor or graduate degree. Therefore, males and
femalesmight have similar attitudes toward online purchasing. Conflicts of interest
Another reason is that most males and females are single. 91.07%
(153 out of 168) of males and 87.37% (173 out of 198) of females All contributing authors declare no conflicts of interest.
were not married and could make online booking decision indi-
vidually, which is different from traditional Taiwanese families Acknowledgments
where males (e.g., fathers) dominate hotel booking decisions.
The authors appreciate the assistance of Dr. Ben-Chang Shia and
5.2. Managerial implications Ms. Wan-Ju Chien in data collection.

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