Based on relevant literature in tourism, consumer behavior, communication, and information science, this study provided a conceptual model of online tourist search and investigated the micro-level process of vacation planning on the Internet. The results indicate that tourists' planning can be deconstructed into a series of episodes and chapters reflecting the specific problem being addressed. In addition, findings indicate that the languages they use differ substantially from those found on websites employed for their vacation planning. The theoretical contributions of this study and the implications for designing better tourism related online systems are discussed and future research directions are detailed. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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