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This study investigated the factors influencing trust in travel-related consumer-generated media (CGM) and the degree to which trust affects the benefits and impacts of using CGM when planning pleasure trips. An online survey of US Internet users was conducted with a total of 1,170 individuals responding to questions regarding their perceptions and use of CGM for travel planning. The findings show that CGM use is widespread and that trust depends on the type of website on which the CGM is posted, perceptions of other CGM creators as well as CGM readers' personality. Also, those who have greater trust in CGM report greater impacts and derive greater benefits from their CGM use.
Information Technology & Tourism is the first scientific journal dealing with the exciting relationship between information technology and tourism. Information and communication systems embedded in a global net have profound influence on the tourism and travel industry. Reservation systems, distributed multimedia systems, highly mobile working places, electronic markets, and the dominant position of tourism applications in the Internet are noticeable results of this development. And the tourism industry poses several challenges to the IT field and its methodologies.