The Impact Of Social Networking On Tourism Development
The study aimed at assessing the impact of social networking on tourism development. The population for the study was four hundred (400). From this, a sample size of one hundred and twenty individuals were drawn using the Tara Yamane formula for random sampling. The instrument used for data collection was structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered on Capstone travel and tour, Diplomat travel and tour and Topaz travel and tour. The total number of copies of questionnaire distributed for this study were one hundred (120) while eighty (80) copies of the questionnaire were completed and returned. This was 80% of the total questionnaire administered. The research design adopted was the survey research using percentages 2.5 under decision rule, which was used to assess the different types of social networking, challenges and strategies in hospitality and tourism industry in FCT. The results shows that there are different social networking systems in the tourism industry, there are impact of socio-networking application in the hospitality industry, there are challenges of social-networking application in hospitality and tourism industry and there are most effective strategy for social networking application in hospitality and tourism industry. Finally, it was recommended that for the industry to grow, it should be supported by both the public and private sectors. The industry should develop a good customer relationship through social networking. Government should make sure that the industry is provided with adequate infrastructure and the practitioners should treat their guests with courtesy.
1.1 Background of the Study
Tourism is essentially a service industry created to satisfy the need arising from movement of tourists within national or cross international boundaries.
Hunziker and Krapt (1941) defined tourism as “the sum of the phenomena and relationship arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, in so far as they do not lead to permanent residence and not connected with any earning”.
The tourism society of England (1976) also defined tourism as the temporary short-term movement of people to destination outside the place where they normally live and work and their activities during the stay at each destination it include movement for all purpose.
According to Hon Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, minister of tourism, Ghana, tourism is the fastest growing industry in the world today; there is no body that can doubt the power of tourism for generation of economic growth employment and alleviation of poverty especially in the urban areas and the preservation of the environment.
In Nigeria, tourism as an activity commenced since the pre-colonial era. The country has a vast landmass of 923,768 km2b and a diverse population of warm, hospitable people of over 120 Million.
Tourism and its development have moved on a fast track after years of neglect. This change has made it possible by the renowned interest of the private sector in pumping the much required funds into the lucrative yet lease explored sector of the Nigeria economy. Obadan (1982).
Tourism is a fragmented and geographically unique sector; embrace a passive set of business and personal relationship between firm and organization such as national and regional destination marketing organization, tourism office, hotel attraction, transport, tour travel agent and restaurant.
Social networking can be seen as the use of a dedicated web site to communicate informally with other members of the sites, by posting messages, photographs etc. Akehurst (2009).
Social networking site have taken tourism and travel booking experience to a new level not previously witnessed. For example, social networking site have allowed tourism to communicate with not only the tourism operator but also tourists who have recently experienced services from the operator whom they are considering booking travel with. This has allowed the tourist an opportunity to gather first – hand information. Tourism in the past has used many different intermediaries in the delivery of tourism product starting with travel agent. Akehurst, (2009).
Werthner and Rocci (2004) Ranked tourism as an industry that is at the forefront of internet and social communication in order to deliver an experience and make sales, the use of website has been found to be effective as people have access to them 24hours a day round the world.
Social media has made a huge impact on essentially every major industry across the world and the business of travel and hospitality has reaped the rewards perhaps as well as any other commercial venture. Boyd, (2007). Travel and tourism depends heavily on the use of word-of-mouth to spread opinions and recommendations, and social platform such as Twitter and Facebook.
According to Buhalis (1998), 92 percent of customers said that they trust earned media which includes recommendation from friends and family members, more than any other form of advertisement.
Moreover, a recent study showed that more than half (52 percent) of respondents changed their travel plans after researching their trip using social media. A heavy 82 percent of traveler’s use their smart phones whilst abroad, and 52 percent of Facebook users said that their friends holidays photos had inspired their vacation choice. Abreu,(2010).
Social media is affecting the travel and tourism industry in a very positive manner. Exquisite destinations are now made famous by friends and family, giving tourism agencies more clients owing to free advertisement of these unexplored destinations.
Nigeria is endowed with a number of tourism based and cultured tourism attractions which are characterized by fascinating scenic lands cape, wide variety of wild life on their natural habitats. But, these identified tourism attractions are not known by many tourists because of lack of effective information system for publicizing the scenery, wildlife and cultural attractions to visitors or tourist hence this research.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The use of electricity as also militate people to have access to social media, many people from rural areas do not have good electricity which can enable them to see different tourist attraction and book travel. In most cases, incorrect information are posted on the profile, marketing efforts will not be aimed at the right audience or tourism. Problem of network has been a major challenging to the use of social networking. Today’s network is more complex than ever before, the impact that the multitude of devices applications and performance can be startling increased congestion, slow application response time, the will prevent tourist to get quick decisions.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is impact of social networking on tourism development.
The specific objective includes:
- Identify different social network work and it application in hospitality and tourism business.
- Determine the social economic impact of socio-networking application in hospitality and tourism business operation.
- Identify the challenges of social-network exploration in tourism and hospitality business development.
- To determine the most effective strategy for social networking application in hospitality & tourism industry.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the different social networking systems in the tourism industry?
- What are the challenges of social-networking application in hospitality and tourism industry?
- What are the most effective strategy for social networking application in hospitality and tourism industry?
1.5 Scope of Study
The scope of this study is to evaluate the impact of social networking on tourism development in Nigeria.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
The Limitations are constrained to lack of fund, human error and limited time frame, which imposed difficulties when serious attempt to effect a general in – depth towards this study.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
Social networking is the use of Internet-based social media sites to stay connected with friends, family, colleagues, customers, or clients. Social networking can have a social purpose, a business purpose, or both, through sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, among others.
Media are the communication outlets or tools used to store and deliver information or data. The term refers to components of the mass media communications industry, such as print media, publishing, the news media, photography, cinema, broadcasting, and advertising.
Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours.
Economic development, as a public sector term, is the process by which the economic well-being and quality of life of a nation, region or local community are improved according to targeted goals and objectives.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
The study aimed at assessing the impact of social networking on tourism development. The population for the study was four hundred (400). From this, a sample size of one hundred and twenty individuals were drawn using the Tara Yamane formula for random sampling. The instrument used for data collection was structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered on Capstone travel and tour, Diplomat travel and tour and Topaz travel and tour. The total number of copies of questionnaire distributed for this study were one hundred (120) while eighty (80) copies of the questionnaire were completed and returned. This was 80% of the total questionnaire administered.
The research design adopted was the survey research using percentages 2.5 under decision rule, which was used to assess the different types of social networking, challenges and strategies in hospitality and tourism industry in FCT. The results shows that there are different social networking systems in the tourism industry, there are impact of socio-networking application in the hospitality industry, there are challenges of social-networking application in hospitality and tourism industry and there are most effective strategy for social networking application in hospitality and tourism industry. Finally, it was recommended that for the industry to grow, it should be supported by both the public and private sectors. The industry should develop a good customer relationship through social networking. Government should make sure that the industry is provided with adequate infrastructure and the practitioners should treat their guests with courtesy.
5.2 Conclusion and Recommendation
The study helped in understanding that the social networking helps the traveler in making decision and reducing the risk of dissatisfaction as the traveler is pre-assured about the destination through the research done by them at the pre-stage of travelling. As well as there is much scope if more campaigns and marketing is done through the social media. This work is based on a review of studies conducted on the usage of Social networking by tourism organizations and the effect of social networking on the traveler’s decision. For future research, a qualitative tool can be used to analyze Social Media effects as well as ways to promote tourism. It can be backed up with a quantitative study in the form of questionnaire survey to understand how tourist decision can be effected through various social media platforms. Thus, they following were recommended;
Regulation of the Tourism Industry
In the past, there has not been any form of regulation in the industry. It is only now that the regulations are coming in. Like every other aspects of life, people are usually resistant to change. The change in this case is that where there are no rules, the umpire comes and says this is the rule. It may take a while to adapt to a regulated industry.
I don’t think what Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) is doing is out of place. In other parts of the world, the industry is well regulated. Of course, you can question some of the policies but at the end, the practitioners need to sit down with the NTDC to reach a compromise. We need to recognize the fact that NTDC has the power to regulate the industry and the NTDC needs to come up with policies that will not stifle the industry. It should be a win-win situation.
Where regulations come and cripple the industry, then you should expect the practitioners to complain. At the end of the day, I think what to do is for the two parties to sit on the table and work out the best way for the industry to thrive.
Provision of Adequate Infrastructure
The hospitality industry in Nigeria is evolving. I believe in about five years from now, we would have a situation where there would be three or more five-star hotels of the Hilton standard, and that would portend positively for the industry. I know that the industry will do a lot better with constant power supply. You also look at other things that impact the industry. Things like transport (air, road, and water), water supply, security (to allow the inflow of tourists into the country), etc.
This means that the operators of the industry will not be spending extra money in creating those things as power generation because you find out that for you to run any hospitality outfit successfully, you have to make sure you have 24-hour power supply. Since it is clear that the industry is all about functionality, infrastructure and power supply must be basic and functional for you to achieve your target. It is important that the regulatory authorities take note of these.
If Johannesburg and Accra are trying to be the hub of air travel in the continent, there is no reason why the most populous black nation in the world should not have its capital as the hub. Once all they are put together, it would have a multiplier effect on the industry. More people will travel to Abuja. More conferences will be brought to the country, and the industry will be the better for it.
Relationship with customers by engaging more on social networking.
Every guest (customer) deserves courtesy to know the tourism and hospitality industries and its operation. A good industry without social networking in this 21st century will suffer a big loss, everything now is on social media and through social networking you can know your potential customers and customers. Social networking allows you to develop a good relationship where you chat and interact with them and also to know the challenges the faced during the course of their tourism and hospitality and it will prompt him or her to patronize you again. The practitioners should take note of this.
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