HOW SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECTS THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
An increasing number of travellers is using more often social media as a source of information. Social media and the new technologies have nowadays literally affected the tourism domain in a way that only ten years ago was inconceivable. They have a relevant role and impact in tourism promotion and consequently in the choice of destinations, hotels, services and activities.
Social media plays nowadays a very important role in almost every field of life. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter connect people by creating virtual communities and give the opportunity to share information, videos, photos, links and advertising. They basically influence people’s decisions, included those related to travels and vacation planning. Recent studies have revealed that people use those platforms to find the inspiration for new places to travel to.
Today many travellers, especially among the millennials, decide their travel plans and details mostly based on social media feedback. They assert to get the inspiration to travel directly from Instagram or Facebook, that are clearly having a great impact on tourism audience and business. People use social media before the travel as way to get informed about the destination, by seeing people who already travelled in the same place and shared contents and reviews. Social media is then used during and also after a travel as a way to share the experience with the virtual friends and audience.
Thus, social media is now considered one of the most powerful and effective marketing tools because it has completely changed the way people choose their next vacation destination. Photographs have the power to inspire people’s imagination and willingness to be in those amazing and breathtaking places seen on the internet. This obviously resulted in a fast tourism growth and economy increase, also for those places that were once considered niche destinations.
This also led to the development of new jobs related to the social media field. +The “travel influencer” has become today a profitable job that has the intriguing peculiarity to combine the love for travels and the economic stability of any other job. Travel influencers basically test hotels, holiday resorts, airline companies, planned excursions and give their feedback by sharing contents on their profiles. An expert travel influencer has a huge follow-up and is able to persuade his or her audience to take choices based on their social media feed.