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An examination of the impact of Weibo on Chinese customers' choice of hotel across Cotai Strip properties

English Abstract

This thesis attempts to analyze the changing trend of Chinese visitors making hotel bookings in Macau‟s Cotai Strip hotels. After the Chinese Central Government launched an Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) in 2003, the Chinese visitor arrivals from mainland China started to steadily increase every year. In 2013, the visitors from China jumped 10.2% year-on-year to 18,623,207, with 8,925,322 (47.9% of total mainland China visitors) choosing to stay overnight in Macau (MGTO, 2014). The mainland Chinese visitors accounted for 65% of the total visitors visiting Macau. There are recognized global name brands of Integrated Resorts and casino operators in Macau. With the continuous major investments and ongoing developments in the hospitality industry, the coming years will bring an estimated increase of 13,000 hotel rooms on the Cotai Strip between 2015 and 2016 (Winner Macau, 2014). To date, there are 11 hotels on the Cotai Strip offering world-class service as well as diversified and comprehensive products such as accommodation, entertainment, fine-dining, retail and conventions and exhibitions. Their offerings are similar, such as product prices, reviews and variety. The most challenging aspect of the competition is that the hotels are targeting the same target segment. Noticeably, the potentially high yield Chinese consumer market has become the main target and this is one of the key reasons that these well-known companies tend to invest in Macau. In this competitive market and to maximize business opportunities, the most effective way to reach right prospects is through online social networking. I will analyze the leader of micro blog services in China, Sina Weibo, examine how Weibo’s feature will show the influencing of the Chinese customers‟ choice of hotel across the Cotai Strip properties. In this paper I will review the present Weibo tactics of the properties in the Cotai Strip, its platforms and types of content. I shall investigate the customers‟ perception and trust on the social media and Weibo as well as the influencing levels for various contents on social media before booking their hotel rooms. Also, I will show the “sharing behavior” during their trips to Macau and their daily practices for using Weibo. The 284 valid data samples were collected and they revealed that the social media/ networking sites were found to be the most important activity for the visitors‟ communications and connection preferences. The influencing level is highest for those messages released by real friends on the social media sites. Furthermore, the paper shall also examine the visitors‟ perception on the Weibo page of the Cotai Strip properties.

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Che, Nga Chi


Faculty of Business Administration


Department of Integrated Resort and Tourism Management (former name: Hospitality and Gaming Management Programme)


M. Sc.


Social media

Online social networks

Hotels -- Macau

Travelers -- China


McCartney, Glenn

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