DOES SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE AN INDIVIDUAL’S DECISION TO VISIT TOURIST DESTINATIONS? USING A CASE STUDY OF INSTAGRAM.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Social media has become a part of a person’s everyday life, but travelling and visiting new destinations has been part of many people’s lives for centuries. It therefore seems inevitable that both of these aspects of life merge in some way; perhaps they are becoming interdependent. Instagram is a well-established social networking site which has rapidly grown in recent years, henceforth this social media is being appropriately used as a case study. The purpose of this study was to discover whether social media impacts upon an individual’s decision to visit a tourist destination. The main aim of the paper was to analyse social media as a motivational factor upon tourists, and how it factors into one’s decision-making process. Instagram and its varied user-generated content was accordingly analysed as a motivational factor upon tourists. This dissertation comprises of six chapters which display the whole research process from the beginning to its completion. Firstly, the topic is introduced, then relevant literature reviewed, then methodology for primary research is identified and explained. Results from the online questionnaire and focus group are then presented, followed by analysis, interpretation and discussion of key data. Finally, the conclusion chapter summarises findings and makes recommendations for future research. This study concludes that social media impacts upon the motivation of a tourist and in turn influences tourist decision-making behaviour. The various social networking sites, including Instagram, primarily influence the younger generation due to their predominant presence on the platforms. It is believed that social media and the pressure surrounding it has caused a trend amongst younger people, to go travelling to rural destinations.
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