Though it started as simply a video-sharing service, companies have now adopted YouTube for promotional purposes. This study by Dr. Sofia Reino and Brian Hay, “The Use of YouTube as a Tourism Marketing Tool,” looks at how tourism organizations and tourists are using the social network.
The researchers analyzed YouTube 320 European tourism videos. The videos were produced by both individuals and private companies, with those produced by individuals accounting for the largest percentage. The study found that tourists like to get information from other individuals about specific things to do on trips. Additionally, this study suggests that tourism organizations have not quite figured out how to use YouTube effectively; many tourism companies are simply “placing existing TV and cinema content on YouTube,” which was found to be ineffective.
The researchers suggest, “The trick for tourism organizations to make tourists believe that what they are seeing is real. This is one of the reasons why the GO campaign in Ireland and Meet the Scots campaign in Scotland was successful; they used real people, who were passionate about their surroundings. It is this trick that tourism organizations must learn to master in the future if they are to be successful in using new marketing channels such as YouTube.”
To read the full text of the study, visit: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1647&context=ttra