Low price or convenience? What is more important for online and offline bookings?
For the sustainable development of the hospitality industry, it is necessary to know the opinions
of customers about their online/offline hotel booking experiences. This study aimed to predict the
customers’ online/offline booking behavior toward a resort hotel in Taiwan by adapting the marketing
mix elements. We first designed and executed a detailed questionnaire involving approximately
300 respondents from a five-star hotel in Taiwan, used hypothesis testing to extract important factors
from the data, and finally used logistic regression of these factors to predict the customer choices
effectively. The study results show that the majority of the customers believe that booking hotel
services online provides for a broader choice, offers more discounts and more privacy than available
while booking offline, and is cheaper, faster, and more reliable and convenient. The outcomes of
logistic regression confirm that “broad choice,” but not “low price” has the most significant impact
on the customers booking a resort accommodation online or offline. Furthermore, the results of the
analysis of variance (ANOVA) show that the younger customers (under the age of 45) and those
with university degrees are significantly more likely to make the reservations online for a resort.
The findings and the recommendations can provide valuable inputs to the resort industry practitioners
in Taiwan for improving the online booking services.