Social media impact on holiday travel: The case of the Russian and the FSU markets
This source preferred by Dimitrios Buhalis
Authors: Fotis, J., Buhalis, D. and Rossides, N.
Journal: International Journal of Online Marketing
The impact of social media on the travel industry is predicted to be tremendous, especially on its holiday travel segment. Although there is a plethora of studies concentrating on the role and impact of social media in travel related decisions, most of them are medium and community specific, or focus on a specific stage of the decision making or the travel planning process. This paper presents a comprehensive view of the role and impact of social media on the travel planning process: before, during and after the trip, providing insights on usage levels, scope of use, level of influence, and trust. The study was conducted through an online structured questionnaire on a sample of 346 members of an online panel of internet users from Russia and the other Former Soviet Union (FSU) Republics who had been on holidays in the previous 12 months. Findings reveal that social media are predominantly used after holidays for experience sharing. It is also shown that there is a strong correlation between level of influence from social media and changes made to holiday plans.
Moreover, it is revealed that user-generated content is more trusted than official tourism websites, travel agents, and mass media advertising