This study aims at measuring tourists’ perception towards the social characteristics of mobile devices and how they may lead to the perceived social role of mobile phones while traveling. Informed by social role theory and computing technology continuum of perspective (CP) model, the hypothesized relationships between mobile computing CP, respondents’ psychological traits, frequency of mobile phone use for travel, and perceived social role of mobile phones during traveling were tested. The results demonstrate that perceived intelligence and socialness of mobile phones prompt tourists to respond socially to mobile computing technology, thus emphasizing the importance of anthropomorphism in the designing of mobile technology for travel. As a managerial implication, smart mobile applications suggesting the roles of mobile devices as personal travel companions and/or assistants should be developed to increase the persuasive power of mobile phones for tourists.
Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of Travel and Tourism Research Association, 2012