How social networks point the way to your next holiday hotspot
Research in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising has investigated how online social networks can influence our choice of holiday destination. The team found that about two-thirds of people interviewed use sites such as Instagram and Facebook to help them decide on the places they would like to visit. LinkedIn had a lot less influence on such decisions, the team found. The study has implications for those working in tourism marketing and management.
Bruno Miguel Vieira, Ana Pinto Borges, and Elvira Pacheco Vieira of the ISAG—European Business School and Research Center in Business Sciences and Tourism (CICET—FCVC), in Porto, Portugal suggest that it is beyond doubt that social networks are important hubs of information and opinion that influence our choices with regard to so many aspects of our lives including the products and services on which we choose to spend our money.
The researchers have used various approaches to examine this notion. They extend the technology acceptance model (TAM), a widely used framework for understanding how and why people adopt new technologies, and looked at perceived usefulness, perceived ease-of-use, attitude towards use, and perceived enjoyment. They also consider the effects of electronic word-of-mouth recommendations and previous influence factors and how all of those feed the decision-making process for putative tourists and their behavioral intention with regard to using social networking to help them decide on their next destination.
The answers from their survey of tourists were analyzed using quantitative research methods, including confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. These tools allowed the team to test their hypotheses rigorously. The use of logistic regression helped home in on an explanation of the influence of social networking on finding information about a destination and on making the final choice to visit that place.
"Our results show that businesses need to consider this mean as one of the most cost-effective way to reach potential consumers," the team writes. "The conclusions of our study provide important inputs for decision-makers to define strategies to make the best advantages of these powerful new tools."
More information: Elvira Pacheco Vieira et al, The role of social networks for decision-making about tourism destinations, International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising (2022). DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2023.10053065
Provided by Inderscience