Social Media as a Channel of Constructive Dialogue for Tourism Businesses

Social Media as a Channel of Constructive Dialogue for Tourism Businesses

Marios D. Sotiriadis (University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch354

Abstract

The main aim of this article is to examine and suggest the ways in which tourism businesses could take advantage of Social Media (SM) as a channel of interactive communication and constructive dialogue with customers. More specifically, it examines the potential contribution and possible uses of SM by tourism providers in acquiring customer feedback. It is based on extensive reviews of literature and business reports. It takes a strategic and operational marketing perspective to analyze the potential contribution of SM from the point of view of tourism providers. SM are regarded as a source of, and medium for, interactive communication with customers.
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Background And Literature Review

The Internet has become the first-choice place for consumers to search for information on tourism destinations, as well as being the most important venue for marketing of tourism services (Benckendorff et al., 2014; Gretzel & Yoo, 2013; Law et al., 2014). The challenges and opportunities for tourism-related industries that arise from the digital environment are obvious in everyday business practice (Leung et al., 2013; Sigala et al., 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Customer Feedback: The positive or negative information transmitted by customers to businesses about the quality of services provided and the degree of satisfaction.

Blogs: Blogs are websites on which people (bloggers) keep logs, share personal experiences and insights in a particular area, and interact with readers through the posting of comments.

Social media: Any tool or service that uses the Internet to facilitate conversations; a group of internet-based applications that enable internet users from all over the world to interact, communicate and share ideas, experiences and information.

Social Media Marketing: A set of marketing techniques that use SM to create increases in brand awareness, achieve increased visitation and enable interaction, communication and collaboration of user-generated content.

Web 2.0: Describes websites that emphasize user-generated content, usability, and interoperability. A Web 2.0 site may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a SM dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community.

Innovation: The introduction of new products/services or new production processes. It is defined as the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services or ideas that are accepted by the market.

Tourism Providers: All businesses offering tourism services and experiences to consumers when the latter are travelling and performing tourism activities. These businesses include transport companies, hospitality companies, travel agents and tour operators and other tourism-related companies directly involved in servicing tourists’ needs.

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