Nowadays the relationship between tourism, technology and economy are closer than ever.
As we know, tourism is not just travel, is also a huge industry for a country. In 2012, travel and the related activities of tourism increased more than $1.1 billion a month during the first seven months. In 2011, Tourism also supported an additional 103,000 jobs for the U.S. Tourism industry is absolutely the powerful contribution of the country; It plays more and more important role in the GDP.
On the other hand, there are more than 2.4 billion people have used the service of Internet in the world in 2012. Search engine optimization and social media are the vital components of every website. It is also a huge influence on tourism industry.
The date shows, only 47% of people still choose to believe in paid television, magazine and newspaper ads. There are 92% globe consumers prefer to earned media which the recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising, and 70% of globe consumers choose to trust the information from online reviews most.
We have to believe that social media increasing the number of tourism, and tourism is changing the number of economy in the country.
This thesis is organized as follows, the impact of social media to travel.
Social Media & Tourism
Internet has been developing very fast. The new web technologies and the Internet connections made that the users can use more interactive types of date, such as audio, video and pictures. That’s the reason for social media has become an integral part of tourism marketing. It is not only the industry experts can publish their reviews on travel related websites, but also the simple Internet users can publish their own videos and pictures, write their reviews, and exchange experiences for others. Moreover the social networks made it to spread the information even faster and with less cost. It’s the effective way to promote their businesses. Social media has replaced a large part of the traditional communication.
The picture shows that how did the biggest travel site- TripAdvisor work in 2011.
Word of mouth is powerful; however, it has been made even more powerful by Social Media. As we see, in 2012, almost 2/3 of travel companies planed to increase their social media budgets. The time is telling people that tourism isn’t the one-sided method as it used to be.
There are 40% of travelers visit social network sites to influence destination selection. According to statistics, there are 50% of blog users read travel blogs. People uploaded 4.5 million photos per day through Instagram. In addition, Flickr’s official statistic is 4.5 million photos uploaded a day for sharing their travel experience. The date shows that 57% of travel-related website visitors read the reviews from other visitors. And 97% of the reviews readers believed in the comments on social media.
There are more than 69% of all travel companies saw traffic growth from Facebook, and also almost 47% of them saw traffic growth from Twitter. For example, Southwest Airlines has 1,655,000 million fans on Facebook and 1,147,000 million followers on Twitter in 2012. At the same time, Southwest also has 65% of the 2,566,000 million fans for the top 2 airlines on Facebook.
Social media also widely use to promote in hotel. On Twitter，many hotels offered special discount “ tweets” for the people who followed their Twitter to creating a strong customer loyalty and satisfaction. On the other hand, Facebook is a popular customer service tool within the travel industry. It allows a greater level of engagement, connection and communication between guests and the companies. It is an opportunity to share pictures and reviews. The number shows that there is 87% reviews impacted the choice of hotel.
Dining is still the most important part of people traveling. There are 84% reviews from social media impacted dining. Yelp is a good example of how social media it used to rate and review dining experience from the moment they enter a restaurant. The consumers response to a restaurant average rating is affected by the number of reviews. And also Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue for a restaurant.