1.0What are the factors that have the strongest contribution to explaining consumers’ search intention, as a dependent variable?
The findings of the study are well consistent with close-cut studies of other companies offering hospitality services online. According to Harcar and Yucelt (2012), perceived convenience ranked highest in explaining the consumers’ search intention as a dependent variable and as if that is not enough, the same research findings did hold ground for another rather distanced online travel company as can be justified by the fact that perceived convenience by the consumer made the highest contribution in affecting consumers’ search intention while their were searching for their services (Peng et al, 2013). These findings were again consistent with of another scholar who in his studies, discovered that perceived convenience had much contribution to make on the customers’ search intention (Conyette, 2012).
On the other hand, the attitude of the consumer as far as his/her search intention is concerned also gave relatively considerable contribution. The findings of the study place the attitude of the consumer as the second strongest factor likely to affect the search intention of consumers and according to another research, the attitude of the consumer played a great role in affecting the consumer in his/her search intention as far as online travel is concerned (Khandelwal et al, 2012). It is explained that the consumer’s attitude has a great effect on the consequential bearing of his search with regards to making reservations online of buying hospitality services online. This study finding is consistent with other studies and much more matches the expectations of stakeholders in this industry who without prior knowledge of customers’ preferences and intentions, can not really compete in the industry (Park et al). Knowing the attitude of the consumer and understanding that this attitude would affect his/her search intentions is key to making any online travel business successes (Jha, 2014).
Intensive research placed subjective norm on the lower end of affecting consumers’ search intention when compared with perceived convenience and consumers’ attitude all through the study. For instance according to Abiodun and Ismail (2013) subjective norm tends to exert a positive impact on the search intention of a consumer as far as the online travel industry is concerned and their findings are consistent with initial findings that place subjective norm as the third strongest factor with the ability of contributing to explaining the consumers’ search intention. Unswerving with our research findings, Al-maghrabi et al 2011 found out that subjective norm had the capacity to affect consumer intention and placed it around third in terms of its strength and capability to affect consumers’ intention.
2.1The effect of age as a moderating variable
Far from the above three already discussed, there are other factors that also affect the consumers’ buying ability and when we look at age, it is one great moderating factor that has adverse effects on the consumers’ purchasing ability. According to our findings which have also been echoed by Yanmie and Ching (2012), when the age of an individual increases, it is more likely that the individual starts to experience a decrease on the perceived usefulness on the influence attitude. In normal terms, it is obvious that when an individual grows older, the ability of influences to catch up with him is minimal so when we look at this from an online travel basis, we realize that age affects the consumer. Just in the same way, age as a moderating factor has downbeat effects on the independent variable subjective norm, it is identified in different literature that younger individuals are more likely to be affected with subjective norms than would be the case with older individuals this is according to research by Sheena et al (2010). This shows how our findings are consistent with other readings on the same subject matter.
2.2The effect of gender as moderating variable
Apart from age, gender too is a moderating variable and some of its effects are discussed below. Respect to the findings we have, it is discovered that gender as a moderating factor has a positive effect between independent variable attitude and dependent variable search intention. Here, it is realized that attitude affects search intention as far as online travel industry is concerned more in men than women; this same sentiments are echoed in another research by Lee and Kwon (2010) and therefore validates the findings that men are more likely to have their search intention affected by attitude as opposed to women. These findings are still consistent with the statement of the fact that subjective norm, tends to affect the search intention of more male customers than women again making gender a positive moderating factor (Mao, 2010).
On another scope and in line with other literature on the subject, it is revealed of how gender as a moderating factor has a positive effect on the search intention as far as trust is concerned. Here, women are more likely to put trust forward as they are going about their search as opposed to men who are less affected by this (Mao, 2010). A