What is a tourism social media strategy

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Domeniu: Turism
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Publicat de: Florentina T.
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Profesor îndrumător / Prezentat Profesorului: Anna Stalmirska

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This essay is focused on the importance of using social media in different domains of tourism, which is really necessary because it helps companies such as hotels, tourism agencies and sightseeing to improve their advertising strategy and to attract more and more people: ‘Social media in tourism is developing on an international scale and travel is becoming even more social as consumers use social networks and digital technology to help inspire, research and plan trips’ (Mintel, 2013). According to the World Trade Organisation (2016), tourism is defined as ‘the activities connected with trips taken by people outside their habitual residences aimed at satisfying their needs for sightseeing, study, leisure or recreation in a certain period of time‘. Social media is presented as ‘websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking, provides travellers with a gateway to the opinions and recommendations of millions of people, including friends within their social network and like-minded travellers ‘(Mintel, 2013). Meanwhile, strategy is briefly outlined as ‘a detailed plan for achieving success in situations' (Cambridge Dictionary, 2019). The essay will discuss about the advantages of advertising for companies and for each type of tourist.

Based on the definitions of some writers, advertising means mass communication such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television, billboards, internet and other media (Morgan; Pritchard; 2013). These represent an advantage for each company, reducing costs, saving time, evolving and keeping an organisation image and distinguishing the organisation from opponents. Advertising has four major tasks: informing, persuading, reminding and selling. A good and strategic plan will achieve these four functions if the needed work has been done in advance. There are a lot of important factors when planning an advertising campaign (Dickman, 1999) and there are also a lot of online applications which are essential for this process. For example, ‘Facebook Live seems to be the best way by far to make people react to video content and to reach wider audiences with small additional costs.’ (Sârbu; Alecu; Dina; 2018). Moreover, the evolution of technology led to online resources where people can book a holiday, in order not to go to travel agencies: due to the speed of technological modification and its effect on travel market, the first decade on internet use widely led to evolvements associated with: reservation systems, online travel agencies, inspecting engines, destination management scheme (VisitBritain.com), price comparison sites (Page, 2019). In what concerns the accommodation sector, many hotel companies have already understood that in order for social media marketing to be truly successful they have to advertise on these channels, with carefully created subjects, transmitted to a well-specified audience yielding a good profit on investment for many ownerships. Additionally, social advertisements are also highly profitable, thus if a hotel’s target audience is small it can advertise on a small proportion too (Mintel, 2019b). Complementary to this, Mintel (2019a) states that the utilisation of technology and social media is a very important part of the advertising mix, that is why Malaysia has recently created an online eVISA programme in order to be easier for tourists to find the documentation they need to visit a country. As a consequence, it has increased the number of foreign travellers, improving the industry of tourism.


Cambridge Dictionary. (2019). Strategy. Retrieved from: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/strategy

Chen, J. (1998). The tourists' cognitive decision making model. The Tourist Review, Vol. 53 No. 1, p. 4-9. Retrieved from: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/eb058263/full/html

Dickman, S. (1999). Tourism & Hospitality Marketing. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Mintel Academic (2013). The Impact of Social Media on Tourism - International-August 2013. Retrieved from: https://academic.mintel.com/display/673672/

Mintel Academic (2019a). Travel and Tourism - Malaysia - February 2019. Retrieved from: https://academic.mintel.com/display/945240/?highlight

Mintel Academic (2019b). Social Media in the Hotel Industry - International-March 2019. Retrieved from: https://academic.mintel.com/display/950288/?highlight#hit1

Minseong, K. & Jihye, K. (2019). Destination Authenticity as a Trigger of Tourists' Online Engagement on Social Media. Journal of Travel Research. New York: Sage Publications INC. Retrieved from Web of Science: http://apps.webofknowledge.com.hallam.idm.oclc.org/full_record.do?product=WOS&search_mode=GeneralSearch&qid=2&SID=D18RbEBxZ1s1WRwrPpA&page=1&doc=9

Morgan, N., Pritchard, A., & Safari, a. O. (2013). Advertising in Tourism and Leisure. Routledge. Retrieved from: https://learning.oreilly.com/library/view/advertising-in-tourism/9780750645317/11_Chapter_01.xhtml

Page, S. J. (2019). Tourism Management. (6th ed.). New York: Routledge

Sârbu, R., Alecu, F., & Dina, R. (2018). Social Media Advertising Trends in Tourism. Amfiteatru Economic, 20(Special No. 12), p. 1016-1028. Retrieved from: https://search-proquest-com.hallam.idm.oclc.org/docview/2265729262?accountid=13827&rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo

Sharpley, R. (2006). Travel and Tourism. London: Sage Publications

United Nations World Tourism Organisation (2013). Gramado Tourism Trade Show. Retrieved from: http://affiliatemembers.unwto.org/event/gramado-tourism-trade-show

World Trade Organisation. (2016). Law on Tourism. Retrieved from https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/acc_e/vnm_e/wtaccvnm43_leg_12.pdf

Zen, B., Gerritsen, R. (2014). Tourism Management Perspectives. Vol.10, p.27-361

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