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The effect of real-time crowding information on tourists’ procrastination of planned travel schedule

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management

2023. 06

Jae Hyup Chang, & Chung Hun Lee

Controlling the crowdedness of destinations is a vital agenda in tourism, yet little tourism research has explored the influence of real-time information, which is an effective tool for reducing crowding. The two experiments in our study assess the usefulness of real-time crowding information in tourist settings by showing that tourists make better decisions (i.e., visiting less crowded areas for a more enjoyable trip) through real-time information. Specifically, tourists who become aware of the high crowdedness of a scheduled destination through real-time information are more likely to change their plans due to negatively perceiving the anticipated outcomes of travel and thus increasing control over their travel experiences. These tourists' decisions to avoid crowding are stronger when there is adequate (vs. much) alternative information. Importantly, this tendency becomes stronger when tourists have high-level time constraints for travel. Our findings carry theoretical and managerial implications for adjusting destinations' crowdedness by dispersing tourism demand.

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