Importance of Social Media in Destination Marketing: Theory and Practice
Changing economic conditions, new ways of tourist behaviour and especially Internet technologies are likely to cause the emergence of new or growth of existing tourism market. Social media plays a significant role in many aspects of tourism, especially in information search and decision-making process, destination promotion and in focusing on best practices for interacting with tourists. It can be defined as a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content in destination marketing. In a time of economic recession, social media are having more important role as an element of destination organisation (DMO) marketing strategy when public sector decreases in their funding. According to the literature review, authors developed detailed typology of social media for the purpose of this study (social networks, social commerce, blogging, video and photo sharing, mobile apps, etc.). Empirical research will present qualitative and quantitative understanding of current use of social media on a sample of Croatian tourism destinations and tourists. The study will also show thedifferencein the number ofsocial media techniques used by DMO, as well as thegreat diversityin the useaccording to the geographicarea. Also, the paper will present future directions and suggestions which could develop e-promotion strategies in destination marketing.
Keywords- destination marketing, tourism, technology, social media, network