Gender Differences in Tourism Website Usability: An Empirical Study
The emergence of the Internet and web technologies has made unprecedented effect on the tourism industry. To keep the competitive advantages in the tourism industry, most travel agencies have built their own websites for promotion, marketing, and online transactions. Nowadays, thousands of electronic tourism websites become accessible, providing a variety of online information and services online. Usability has been recognized as a vital factor in the success of tourism websites because usability has been shown to change users’ attitudes, achieve users’ satisfaction. However, there are limited studies exploring gender differences in usability of tourism websites. It can be arguable that gender differences significantly influence usability design of tourism websites. Thus, this study aims to assess the usability of current tourism websites from a gender difference perspective. The results show significant differences of usability perception between genders. More specifically, the common usability that males require most includes visibility of system status, user control and freedom and efficiency of use. The usability that females require most covers aesthetic design, help and documentation and security and privacy. These findings can provide deep insights into gender differences in usability to support tourism website design.
KeywordsGender differences Usability assessment Tourism websites
This study was supported by a research grant funded by the “Open Research Project of Key Laboratory of Modern Teaching Technology, Ministry of Education” (SYSK201502), “the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry”, and “the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities” (GK201503066).
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