Title: Influence of social media on motivations for visiting a destination and image formation

Authors: Isabel Llodrá-Riera; María Pilar Martínez-Ruiz; Ana Isabel Jímenez-Zarco; Alicia Izquierdo-Yusta

Addresses: Cibersociety, Bit Foundation, Palma, Spain ' Marketing, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete, Spain ' Innovation and Marketing, Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Barcelona, Spain ' Marketing, University of Burgos, Burgos, Spain

Abstract: Empirical research shows that motivations for visiting a destination are quite important in tourism behaviour. Motivations influence not only the perceived image of a tourist destination, but also the affective, cognitive and unique images of it. Motivations, in turn, are influenced by information sources. This includes not only information sources managed by authorities, service providers and intermediaries, but also, with the growing use of social media and Web 2.0, user-generated content. This study aims to analyse the weight that different web platforms have as information sources and their influence on both motivations for visiting a given tourist destination and the perceived image of it. The views of 541 visitors and non-visitors of Mallorca showed that information sources, including user-generated content, influence motivations which, in turn influence cognitive, affective and unique images. These findings are useful for choosing which communication channels to invest in and which motivations to highlight in communication strategies.

Keywords: destination images; motivation; image perception; user generated content; UCG; web platforms; social media; Spain; innovation; technology; intention to visit; image formation; tourist destinations; tourism behaviour; perceived images; affective images; cognitive images; unique images; information sources; tourist information; Mallorca; communication strategies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2015.072173

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2015 Vol.10 No.4, pp.413 - 430

Received: 04 Mar 2015
Accepted: 14 Mar 2015

Published online: 02 Oct 2015 *

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