Media, particularly social media is playing an incredible role in development as well as boosting up the tourism sector. Now in the digital age, tourists are mainly dependent on the internet. Information about the site, medium of transport, living, amusement, food, cultural diversity, and so on is available on different websites. Despite taking information from websites people would like to get a first-hand experience from social media. Sometimes it happens vice versa. Tourist inspires through social media then started to find out about the place and attractions. Some people trust social media rather than marketing websites in terms of tourism hospitality.
So Social media becomes the dominant enabler of customer engagement, and this technological practice is very different from previous market-oriented platforms. Now customers are more important to tourism facilitators. The booming of social media platforms alerts facilitators to provide proper service to the customer in terms of hospitality. They are owned by the customer but are transparent, and facilitate two-way interactions between customers and tourism organizations.
Tourist understands the difference between experience and marketing. So they rely more on social media messages and ratings. Recent research on social media impact in tourism hospitality found that engaged customers’ messages were 22 times more valuable than those of marketers underlines the importance of understanding customer engagement.
The research suggested to brand managers using social media will be able to better understand and shape the nature of customer engagement. Social media is the ideal network through which to inspire tourists’ interest, identification, and communication with a brand. Tourism service provider certainly realizes how to effectively use multi-dimensional functions of social media, such as pictures, videos, ratings, reviews, comments, blogs, etc. to attract customer by marketing the real experience of their previous clients.
To read this article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2016.09.015
Harrigan, P., Evers, U., Miles, M., & Daly, T. (2017). Customer engagement with tourism social media brands. Tourism Management, 59, 597-609.