This chapter considers the change in information seeking behaviour of tourists as a result of the increased use of the World Wide Web as an information resource in the context of information services provided by visitor information centres (VICs). The theoretical approach adopts the model of expectation-disconfirmation effects on Web customer satisfaction. The chapter proposes that visitor information centres are analogous to an information system and that the user experience of visiting the centre can partially be explained by users perception of the information quality of information resources used at the centre and a prior use of the Web. The research proposition explored in the reported research is that a priori usage of the Web may influence tourists’ perceptions of the information services provided by visitor information centres. In order to investigate this proposition a survey was conducted at the Sydney visitor information centre resulting in 519 responses. The analysis of the data collected, using structural equation modeling, found that perceived information quality of staff and brochures used at the centre explained 63% of the variance of the user experience at the centre, a prior use of the Web did not explain any of the variance. The implications for VICs’ strategic information resource management to meet visitor needs are discussed.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Visitor Information Centre: A traditional information services that promotes tourism in a specific region or location.
Information System: As systematic approach of the provision of information often using technology to meet the information needs of consumers.
Information Infrastructure: Structures both ICT and traditional based to meet the information needs of consumers.
Tourists: People who are planning a trip for recreational purposes.
Information Need: A need associated with a level of uncertainty. Information is required to reduce uncertainty.
World Wide Web: An application of the Internet providing content.
Traditional Information Service: An information service that makes use of traditional information resources to meet the information needs of its users including: brochures, staff.
Web Information Resources: Information content managed on the World Wide Web to meet the information need of users within a variety of contexts.
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