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Working paper

How Travelers Use Online and Social Media Channels to Make Hotel Choice Decisions. A Comparative Study of Russian Federation and American Tourists’ Online Consumer Behavior

Over the last decades, the global hospitality and tourism (or H&T) industry has undergone dramatic changes. Among the factors stimulating the growth of the H&T industry, the spread of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and social media should be emphasized. The same trends characterize the Russian H&T industry as well. However, despite the significant role of social media in the Russian H&T industry, there is still a lack of understanding of Russian H&T customers’ behavior. The current study aims to fill this gap and demonstrates how Russian travelers use social media to make hotel choice decisions and share their experiences on social media after their travel is completed. In order to deliver a more thorough revealing of Russian travel consumers’ peculiarities and to discover if there is Russian uniqueness, the online behavior of American and Russian travelers is compared in this paper.