The Role of Social Media and User-Generated-Content in Millennials’ Travel Behavior
AbstractOne of the sectors most influenced by digitalization is tourism and the use of the Internet for brand building is an increasingly common custom, especially by taking advantage of the benefits Social Media has to offer to related businesses. In the given context, the aim of this article is to analyze the role of Social Media and User-Generated-Content in Millennial consumers’ travel behavior, to investigate how these influence people’s decisions to visit specific tourist destination and how various tourism indicators fluctuated in the last two decades, in order to have a better understanding of the current tourism trends. The primary method used is an online questionnaire, along with documentary analysis, statistical analysis, and personal observation. The article starts with a comprehensive literature review that addresses key themes such as tourists decision-making behavior, motivation of travel, or user-generated content. The relationship between Social Media and the desire to travel, but also the manner in which Social Media is used throughout the whole holiday decision-making process are examined. Hence, the paper investigates the impact of Social Media on the travel choices of Romanian Millennial residents, also known as Generation Y, the largest cohort of Internet users, often called digital natives, as they are the first generation born in the Information Age and for whom travel is a way of life. The paper also draws attention to the ways in which travel and tourism businesses could reshape and customize their current marketing strategies in order to gain competitive advantage in the industry.
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