Social Media and Tourism: The Impact
Social networks are online communities of people who share common interests and activities. They provide a user with a collection of various interaction possibilities, ranging from a simple chat to multiple video conferences, and from the exchange of plain email messages to the participation in blogs and discussion groups. Online social networks may also contain categorized relationships (e.g. former classmates), means to connect with friends (with self-assembled description pages), or recommendation systems for some kind of objects or activities.
Online social travel networking is also changing the way tourists plan their trips. These websites allow users to interact and provide reviews on hotels or on local tourist attractions. Some examples of these websites are Travellerspoint, WAYN, and TripAdvisor.com. The latter is probably the largest travel community on the Web.
A study from TripAdvisor verifies that TripAdvisor has become a key marketing and reputation channel for Hoteliers as it houses more than 170 million reviews and opinions of travel-related businesses. They are posted from travelers all over the world and 100 new posts are being added every minute.
The more reviews a hotel has the more money it will generate per transaction. More reviews may suggest more opportunities for those reviews to be positive. Because the numbers of reviews are important, hotels shouldn’t just focus on ranking or stars, but on encouraging their guests to write about their experiences at the property.
Here are a few recommendations from TravelClick to help your property increase revenue using this important channel:
Subscribe to TripAdvisor Business Listings: It’s an annual subscription that generates direct property bookings and provides valuable marketing exposure. It will allow a property to reach in-market browsers, offer performance tracking and flexible display options, as well as generate incremental customers.
Ask Your Guests to Write a Review: Since the more reviews a property has, the higher the revenue per transaction, build a marketing campaign to stay in touch with past guests and ask them to talk about their experience at your property.
Utilize Special Offers: Entice travelers to contact you and book directly. When people search for your property on TripAdvisor, Special Offers appear prominently in the search result allowing your property to expand its visibility among people who are researching your market, putting you in the same ad space as brands.
The tourism industry is still scrambling to accommodate Social Media, which barged in like an unexpected tour group babbling in a bizarre foreign language. But while tour groups move on, Social Media is here to stay.
Social networking has changed how travelers research trips, make decisions and share experiences. Sites like Facebook, with more than 1 billion active users, and TripAdvisor, with 50 million unique monthly visitors, enable travelers to seek trip information and advice from the sources they trust the most: other travelers and people they know. As a result, they arrive at our doors more informed and empowered than ever before, with higher expectations and all sorts of channels for sharing likes and dislikes with large volumes of people.
Social in driven by the consumers, for Travel companies and Hotels Social Media means business. When someone is planning a trip, digital channels begin as a source of inspiration. As inspiration takes shape, those channels become planning tools. Some people spend a lot of pre-trip time online, from daydreaming through shopping and booking. And through it all, they’re bombarded with information. Social Word of Mouth ranks as one of the highest sources for travel ideas today.
Research shows that consumers will look to people in their Social Communities who they like, trust, and know.
Many brands across the travel and hospitality industry have embraced online media to some extent, but they haven’t demonstrated sophisticated use of digital channels.
Here is an Infographic that will illustrate the impact of Social Media and Tourism.
Are you prepared to make a shift that will provide new exciting alternative impacts on your brand?<
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As guest behavior and pattern continues to evolve, expectations will continue to rise. Navigating these changes can be challenging. Learn more about how we can help your Hotel.
Michelle Mangan work on the digital marketing for Killarney Hotels. She regularly writes about topics within the tourism sector.
TravelClick provides innovative solutions for hotels around the globe that increase revenue, reduce cost, and improve performance. Our suite of solutions supports our clients with travel marketing and reservations management tools, as well as comprehensive business intelligence.
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