Social Media and Tourism

Social media has completely changed the game for so many different industries, including tourism. Social media has become a key component in the advertisement of the tourism industry. User generated content is a growing phenomenon that allows real people to create and dictate the social media experience. Kang expresses how this user-generated content cannot be controlled by tourism marketers, which in return allows for a raw representation of travel. A popular way travel marketers are promoting their brands nowadays is by using celebrity and social media influencer endorsements.

Since the growing use of social media, the tourism industry is changing the way they reach their audiences. Social media allows for effective and persuasive advertisement of travel destinations, especially when content goes viral and is promoted by influential names today.

Social media is also the birthplace of a lot of benign envy of others when one with low self-esteem is viewing another’s luxurious looking travel posts. People use social media as their personal impression managers in order to keep a sought-after appearance online.

Social appearance is big deal to those who participate in the give and take of social media. Traveling is such a desirable idea that those that do possess lower self-esteem often see posts of others enjoying themselves at a travel destination and they become envious because they yearn for a sense of belonging. Social media pulls on emotional strings which is why the travel industry is quickly jumping on the bandwagon. When it comes to tourism, people are buying an experience which is an emotional purchase.

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The consumer’s emotions are triggered by social media and the content that other users are posting. With the rise of these medias, people are constantly looking at posts that evoke their benign envy of others who have a desirable online life. In today’s day and age, people are turning increasingly to social media when they are looking for reliable sources of information. People are becoming more willing to trust online reviews, which, in return, means that they allow the experiences of others to dictate what their travel plans will consist of. The personalization of ones’ social media experience is a great resource that can be used to discover the best places a certain person should visit.

Due to the things a user likes, dislikes, shares, etc, that friends or family members post, Coelho (2018) states that recommender systems are great aids to determine where someone should travel to. Travelers are constantly relying on easy access social media and internet searches to rid themselves of travel discrepancies because they believe the accounts that they find here are true, unbiased, and independent. Those that hold the greatest influence on consumers and their travel choices are their friends, family, and inspirational figures that they follow on social media. Online reviews and critiques have become very popular and heavily relied on when it comes to booking a trip.


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Social Media and Tourism. (2021, Dec 17). Retrieved from

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