Saint Joseph’s University
DETERMINANTS OF BACKPACKERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF SECURITY? A WOM-BASED APPROACH
This paper aims to identify the determinants of backpackers’ perceptions of security. In particular, the impact of hostel cleanliness, location, staff, and atmosphere as well as backpackers’ country of origin on backpackers’ perceptions of security are being studied. Using Word-of-mouth (WOM) approach, the analysis shows that hostel cleanliness, location, staff, and atmosphere have a positive and significant impact on backpackers’ perceptions of security. Additionally, backpackers from countries with a high level of security have higher expectations about hostel security and in turn are harder to satisfy compared to backpackers from countries with lower security. Applying Centering Resonance Analysis (CRA) and Naïve Bayes classification, this study provides evidence on how these attributes impact backpackers’ perceptions of security. Results of this study are valuable in demonstrating how hostel managers can utilize rich information generated by backpackers on the Internet to develop and improve their business.
Keywords: Hostels, Security, Backpackers, Country of Origin, Word of Mouth, Centering Resonance Analysis, Sentiment Analysis.
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