Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Hospitality Management

First Committee Member

Sarah Tanford

Second Committee Member

Tony Henthorne

Third Committee Member

Carola Raab

Fourth Committee Member

Nadia Pomirleanu

Number of Pages



An online travel agency (OTA) is an important channel for hotels to generate new reservations. To make booking decisions, people collect and evaluate available information. Hotels try to provide effective information to persuade customers to book their hotel deals; however, not all information is manageable by the hotels. This research evaluates the effects of information on OTA websites with an approach based on the origins of the information. Depending on the origin, multiple cues can be categorized by two types, controllable and uncontrollable cues. A controllable cue is information that hotels can maintain, whereas an uncontrollable cue is not manageable because third parties such as OTAs or customers own the information. Based on this concept, the research examines the effects of a controllable cue according to the associated uncontrollable cue. The dual-processing theory is applied to understand shifting evaluations of multiple cues by adopting a priming method to manipulate thinking modes. This dissertation consists of two experimental studies to investigate the integrated effects of multiple cues as a function of the dual-processing system. Study 1 focuses on a combination of multiple cues including an endorsement-controllable cue and applies affective priming to activate different emotions prior to the hotel booking decision phase. Study 1 utilized a 2 uncontrollable cue (high vs. low customer rating) x 2 controllable cue (well-known vs. unknown brand) x 2 priming (positive vs. negative). Study 2 added a risk-controllable cue instead of an endorsement cue to demonstrate its combined effects with the same uncontrollable cue. The influence of the dual-processing system was tested using procedural priming. A 2 uncontrollable cue (high vs. low customer rating) x 2 controllable cue (scarcity vs. none) x 2 priming (hotel-related vs. irrelevant) design was utilized. In both studies, decision confidence was included as a covariate to control the influence of the relationship between the internal factor and dependent variables.

Study 1 demonstrates that customer ratings determine the role of hotel brand. The positive effect of brand is amplified as a critical factor when customer rating is low. However, the effect of hotel brand nullifies when the hotel has a high customer rating. Positive emotions caused by affective priming lead more favorable evaluations than negative emotions. The findings of study 2 indicate that the evaluations of multiple cues can be altered by the value of the uncontrollable cue and procedural priming to activate the modes of processing information. Customer ratings rule over the effects of scarcity. Scarcity is perceived as a positive cue to increase the value of the hotel when customer rating is high. However, it is considered a negative cue to decrease hotel evaluations with a low rating. A heuristic process activated by irrelevant priming strengthens the value of the high rating while a systematic process triggered by hotel-related priming increases the value of a scarcity message.

The findings of this research provide systematic approaches to understand the effects of multiple cues on OTA websites. Theoretical foundations are provided to understand the cue assessment mechanisms to support the findings. Industrial applications based on the findings of this research are suggested. This research emphasizes the importance of understanding uncontrollable cues and evaluation modes, shifted by emotions and task-relevance, to produce the best marketing strategies on OTA websites.


Dual processing theory; Hotel booking decision; Hotel brand; Online rating; Priming; Scarcity


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Marketing

File Format


File Size

13.8 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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