The transformation of traditional journalism has been significant for the travel and tourism industry, where social media participation is critical for tourism businesses in becoming the primary way to connect with today’s customers (Tauson, S 2014). Previously formed on a basis of ‘deliberative journalism’, the control has now shifted from a centralised and institutional media approach to one that is much more diverse, allowing for a wide variety of content, from a extensive list of locations, by a multiplicity of individuals (Bruns, A 2009).
The online travel industry is significantly transforming tourism experiences by changing travel planning, reconfiguring relationships amongst tourists and deconstructing ones sense of tourism via social media (Wang, D & Fesenmaier, R 2013). What I love is the ability for us to create our own ideas about the world around us, where we can generate content, upload experiences, check-in on friends holidays and gather information for our own preparation.
The value is in the aggregated flow of individual contributions, where Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and travel blogs have become effective ways for tourism economies and travel agents to distribute content on a regular basis, increase our level of engagement and retain our interest (Mitew, T 2015). For example, the more content we can gather from our favourite travel agent, the location we want to visit, where to stay, what to eat, the activities we want to do, the greater the level of motivation for us to partake.
Social media is a fun and useful way to engage in the travel supply chain, where we can avoid making appointments, save time and money, receive up-to-date news and gain increased quality of data by engaging in real-person feedback (Noel, S & Suwaree, A 2008). If you are planning to go on a holiday soon, I would recommend following reputable travel social media sites because from experience I have learned about places I would have never dreamed of, become aware of great travel specials, engaged in tourism competitions, kept in touch with friends overseas and created my own travel experiences!
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