Original Research

Online reputation, virtual experience and tourists’ revisit intentions. The case of Vilakazi street tourism corridor in Soweto

Freddy M. Mgiba, Norman Chiliya
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 23, No 1 | a3533 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v23i1.3533 | © 2020 Freddy M. Mgiba, Norman Chiliya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 January 2020 | Published: 25 August 2020

About the author(s)

Freddy M. Mgiba, Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Norman Chiliya, Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Academic literature has documented the benefits of technology for the tourism business. However, the influence of the fourth industrial revolution environment on the destination reputation, pre-visit experience, visit intentions and how these affect tourists’ satisfaction and loyalty intentions have not received much attention, especially within the African context.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to empirically test the effect of this environment on all these variables.

Setting: This study is one of the few empirical types of research conducted in an urban tourism destination centre in a South African context.

Methods: The study employed a positivist quantitative research methodology. Primary data (N = 235) were collected from tourists who visited the Vilakazi Street precinct during October–November 2019, using the convenient probability sampling approach. For analysis, the study employed structural equation modelling.

Results: There are positive relationships between the fourth industrial revolution environment and the online reputation and the pre-visit experience. These, in turn, have a positive effect on the intention to visit the precinct, which affects the tourists’ feelings of satisfaction after actually visiting the centre. Satisfaction has a positive impact on their loyalty intentions.

Conclusion: The findings create a space for future research by providing another framework for investigating the usefulness of new technology in the tourism industry, which can also extend to other industries. For managers, the findings can help in the creation of online advertisement strategies, online reputation management and online pre-visit experience enhancement.


Keywords

fourth industrial revolution; reputation; pre-visit experience; visit intention; satisfaction; loyalty.

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