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Representatives from tourism bureaus are seeing the increased impact social media is having on how young people choose their holidays. Aussie travellers do not have to only consult guides books and word-of-mouth advice when choosing their future destination, as many are turning to friends, family and acquaintances' recommendations through websites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
UNWTO promotes using social media for travel advertising
Some officials from groups like the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are pleased about the wide usage of social media, as they think it will rapidly change the misconceptions about areas of the world thought not to be safe or secure for travel. Experts say that individuals can instantly gather information from residents or travellers in the area about a locale.
If there is a flood in an Asian country that the media may be saying makes the region dangerous, tourists can go to their social media platforms to find out what citizens are saying about the issue. This can speed up the recovery of some part of the world after they have been affected by protests or natural disasters, as information can pass quickly and thwart any negative reputations that may be lingering long past their truthfulness.
Representatives from the UNWTO are also encouraging tourism organisations to follow suit and post positive information about their locales through photographs and videos.
"Where there is textorial information versus pictorial information, the ultimate, most trust worthy information is via images," said Dirk Glaesser, risk and crisis management coordinator for the UNWTO, at a recent tourism conference in Jordan. "It is powerful in overcoming consumers’ misconceptions."
Other ways tourism companies use social media
While promoting destinations is useful, brands like The Four Seasons are also tapping into social media resources, especially when trying to reach a younger demographic of travellers. Recently, the luxury travel hotel chain announced a promotion on Facebook for users to redeem for room credits and free nights at various locations. Aussie travellers who go to the official Four Season page can find special rates and discounts that are not otherwise advertised.
When Australian tourist start looking into their next holiday spot, they can find out about exotic locations and special deals through social media websites, which can offer advice and information on countless aspects of travel.
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