Adoption of Social Media As Distribution Channels in Tourism Marketing: A Qualitative Analysis of Consumers’ Experiences

9 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2020

See all articles by Evangelos Christou

Evangelos Christou

International Hellenic University

Chryssoula Chatzigeorgiou

International Hellenic University - School of Economics & Business

Date Written: January 30, 2020

Abstract

Purpose: The study reported in this paper explores consumers’ experiences with technology-assisted social media service encounters by investigating the applicability of Mick and Fournier’s paradoxes of technology adoption to the social media as distribution channel in tourism scenario. This industry sector was selected because online technological innovations have significantly changed how tourism organisations like hotels and airlines deliver their services.

Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted to explore consumers’ experiences when using social media distribution services and the results were compared to those of Mick and Fournier. A sample of 36 Facebook users was selected as informants who currently use social media for online travel purchases, via a snowballing technique.

Results: The findings are similar to those of Mick and Fournier, suggesting that when consumers adopt online technology like social media, they can simultaneously develop positive and negative attitudes. The findings of this study also suggest that the nature of some of the paradoxes experienced by consumers may depend on the industry (tourism in this study) and the technology (social media in this study) being investigated.

Implications: Findings indicate that when consumers use social media technology-assisted service encounters for hotels’ and airlines’ services they are most likely to experience control/chaos, freedom/enslavement, competence/incompetence, efficiency/ inefficiency, engaging/disengaging, assimilation/isolation paradoxes and least likely to experience the new/obsolete paradox.

Keywords: Adoption of technological innovations, social media, distribution channels, consumer attitudes, tourism marketing

JEL Classification: L83, M1, O14, Z33

Suggested Citation

Christou, Evangelos and Chatzigeorgiou, Chryssoula, Adoption of Social Media As Distribution Channels in Tourism Marketing: A Qualitative Analysis of Consumers’ Experiences (January 30, 2020). Journal of Tourism, Heritage & Services Marketing (JTHSM), 2020, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 25-32, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3603355, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3747963

Evangelos Christou (Contact Author)

International Hellenic University ( email )

14th km Thessaloniki
Moudania
Thermi, Thessaloniki 57001
Greece

Chryssoula Chatzigeorgiou

International Hellenic University - School of Economics & Business ( email )

14th km Thessaloniki
Moudania
Thermi, Thessaloniki 57001
Greece

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