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Author(s): Jeffrey A. Beck, Feitong Li
When faced with two similar alternatives, customers struggle to choose one. The concept of a phantom decoy, an attractive but unavailable alternative in the list of choices at the final purchasing stage, may help customers make the choice that best serves the customer and the hotel. Hotel rooms are not always available due to popularity or renovation. In this study, a 2 × 2 experiments was designed to investigate whether a phantom decoy would influence the decision-making behavior of people when they choose hotels, and to test the satisfaction between booking a hotel room using an online travel agent (OTA) and the hotel brand website. Reactance theory and attribution theory were confirmed when a phantom decoy was added to customers’ choice sets.