Published on : Thursday, October 12, 2017
According to a new study of the University of Georgia, the amount of positive feedback travelers consider that they will receive from social media can forecast whether they can explore that place or not.
Through the number of likes, comments, shares, and positive feedback in general, travelers anticipate they’ll receive through their personal travel posts, shows what destination marketers are already aware of, explained by Bynum Boley, an assistant professor in UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.
To quote Boley, “Social media is influencing the destination selection process. Results confirm the importance of promoting the symbolic aspects of the destination rather than solely promoting the functional attributes such as price and weather; destination marketers need to consider the anticipated social media buzz travel will create and harness the force behind these symbolic images to influence visitation to the destination.”
The research team created and utilized the “Social Return Scale” to forecast whether 758 U.S. travelers aim to holiday in Cuba next year, coming five years, and then impending ten years on the basis of the anticipated positive feedback of the social media for posting their travel experiences.
Cuba was selected as an interesting destination as improvised travel restrictions under ex-President Obama’s administration resulted in a rush to witness the country before the U.S. tourism altered the nature of the experience. Therefore, it was of interest to see if the expected social return of traveling to Cuba would create a huge impact on the intention to visit there in the short term versus long term.