Written by Anonymous
In today’s world we see more travelers sharing their travel experience through social media channels, which contributes to a higher usage of technology and has become a frequent part of our daily lives.
Social Media And Tourism
The tourism has been affected by several factors and its developments during the past decades (Franklin & Crang, 2001). An influential factor is technology and its constant changing character. Thus, the tourism is well related to our society, and technology is part of the society then technology has therefore evolved and become a meaningful key concept. We are nowadays living in an environment where technology is getting more and more integrated into our lives. To constantly being connected and having the possibility of direct contacts through a virtual world, has extremely impacted our lives and behaviors (Cohen & Cohen, 2012). Furthermore, social media platforms are building up a big part of today’s technology. They are defined by Kaplan & Haenlein (2010) as applications and virtual meeting spaces, created for the reason of internet and its technological improvements which offer a source of information together with interaction amongst its users. The purpose of this blog post is to therefore describe how the connectivity and what type of connectivity impacts the travel experience through social media.
Key Aspects Of The Social Media Usage
#Accessibility – refers to the possibility of finding a Wi-Fi spot at your location in order to be able to connect through social media platforms and share any travel experience.
The possibilities of finding a Wi-Fi spot during your travel are common these days as information is accessible everywhere, being sent frequently as well as sharing pictures and status updates. Back in the post-internet era family members barely heard any news from their relatives when they were away on holidays mainly cause of the expense, barely no availability and the minor need of being connected in comparison to our current digital age (Munar & Jacobsen, 2014). The major developments in our digital age have been the increase in newer technology, which is the main reason to a higher usage of Wi-Fi connectivity (Larsen et al 2007) . As well the tourism has gone through a transformation in a way where the Wi-Fi connectivity through social media platforms has enabled and opened communication opportunities in-between travelers. The Pinterest app Pin.Pack.Go introduced by the luxury hotel chain Four Seasons, clearly shows as an example of how the internet evolution has impacted its users who have a routine of sharing information and communicating via internet (TravelTalk, 2015). The majority of tourists are using the social media platforms while traveling, which this app engage and give recommendations from Four Seasons’ local experts and enable travelers to receive insider information about their upcoming destination. This according to Munar & Jacobsen (2014) is showing social media as a positive tool for travelers in many different aspects. They refer to technology, as a vital role of the expansion within the tourism industry.
Having continuous accessibility to Wi-Fi could impact the traveler’s experience in the same way as limited connectivity, reinforced by Kasavana et al (2010) in a way where he states that internet have had a significant impact on travelers when it comes to changes in sourcing information and the way things are communicated in-between travelers. Therefore the feeling of being able to connect is meaningful because a connectivity limitation might result in a negative travel experience.
#Information_and_communication – refers to the social media usage of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, which in this context has a major importance for the tourist’s experience.
Through social media platforms it is easier to keep in touch with family and friends while traveling. Boyd Rayward (2014) explains this by mentioning that there are communication possibilities existing for travelers, which enables the connectivity with the rest of the world. During the post-internet era the oversea communication, was a problem because of the limited developed technology. Humans in general have a need in feeling the closeness to each other and the problematic aspects are today almost non-existent thanks to the modern technology we currently have. Today we have the ability to communicate at once no matter how far the geographical distance is through the help of social media platforms and its tool providing us with unlimited direct user contacts. This clearly shows that travelers have a certain security and safety towards the awareness of the existing available information. We could relate this to what Green (2002) states that the ability in connecting through a smart phone to receive information could result in a safe and secure travel experience. The sharing of experiences online can create inspiration for other travelers, but as well the tourist himself can get inspired throughout his travel: this by receiving further handy tips what to see and do in the local area, which contributes to memorable pleasures. Especially Gretzel & Yoo (2008) speaks about getting motivated to post things online through social media platforms in order to share opinions and experiences with other travelers, the Four Seasons’s Pinterest Pin.Pack.Go app is therefore a great tool to connect and share experiences at the tourist destination (Nayer, 2013). All only in order to be able to contribute towards a better wellbeing for any traveler’s experience.
#Social_media_syndrome – refers to the extent of a tourist’s affection on a personal level
Photos and sharing them across social media platforms are part of an important aspect for a tourist’s travel experience, since they partly are a type of meaningful documentation. One of many authors such as Green (2002) explains that shared pictures and videos enable the tourist to reflect upon his travel and finding a meaning to it. In another association by Hillman (2007) who mentions that pictures taken during holidays are proof of the actual tourist’s visit. As well it has an impact on tourism itself by mirroring the traveler’s experiences of a place.
Four Seasons a luxury hotel chain has made it possible for travelers to share photos and engage with their employee insiders through the travel planning service Pin.Pack.Go. This makes it possible for travelers to receive local insights about their trip via Pinterest, another social media platform for pictures in order to collaborate with the traveler prior and during his holiday destination (Neubeiser, 2013). The traveler can by this, extend his experience upon returning back from vacation by reflecting back at every single photo being shared at earlier stages during the travel. This gives us the possibility for our family & friends to follow and see all experiences, while back in the days a traveler coming home needed to create a photo album before gathering all people to be able to share his moments from the holiday. A statement by Marschall (2014) can easily be related to this where he says that it is important for a traveler to create memories which is the major reason why people are traveling. As collecting memories evoke a personal feeling for the tourist of reliving the trip, and looking at pictures shared through social media platforms like Pinterest. These feelings and memories impact the full journey positively in enhancing the traveler’s experience by becoming nostalgic.
Share With Care – New Reality
The accessibility to connect through social media platforms is an essential part as it enables the usage throughout the travel experience. It is as well the base towards the extent of how much social media is used, which results in the level of impact for an experience. Furthermore, the source as information has an effect as it evokes a secure and safe feeling for the traveler. The reason for it is because the tourist can constantly keep himself updated with all available information through social media platforms, which facilitates the traveler to share experiences while being on holidays amongst his relatives and friends. Another positive impact relating it to communication and information is the inspiration which the traveler is sharing and being embraced through his travel experiences. The communication via social media platforms brings the opportunity of connecting with loved ones from home, but also creates and maintains relationships with other travelers at the same destination. Pictures and sharing them has a meaningful role in how a tourist’s experience can be impacted through social media platforms. A shared picture has a positive impact as it becomes an evidence of the traveler’s visited destination. At the end all shared pictures evoke a nostalgic feeling because of the opportunity created for reliving the holiday by remembering all nice experiences.
By sharing experiences with others we learn and gain insights from people who have achievements and a common purpose. All social media platforms are giving us a social experience, but what is the common purpose of huge platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest? Both are giving us a way of communicating and maintaining relationships but it is not a great way of getting to know others who share same interests. It is truly fantastic sharing your travel experiences with the whole world, but it feels more important to share them with people who truly understand you than just with people who like your pictures with same interest as any other. Next time you decide to travel think once more carefully before sharing, if this picture can make an impact on any of your audience.
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