Social media in tourism : establishing factors influencing attitudes towards the usage of social networking sites for trip organisation

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: The main aim of this study was to determine the attitude towards the use of social networking sites for trip organisation and its precursors. Problem investigated: Tourism organisations and destination policy makers need to understand factors that influence tourist use of social networking sites for trip organisation in order for them to be able to effectively utilise social networking sites. Methodology: The methodological approach followed was exploratory and quantitative in nature. Data was collected from a total of 340 respondents using a structured questionnaire. Structural equation modelling through the use of Partial Least Squares was for data analysis. Findings and Implications: The results show that attitude towards the use of social networking sites for trip organisation is affected by perceived benefits, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control, with perceived usefulness having the greatest influence. The implication is that managers of tourism organisations need to ensure that their sites are informative, easy to use, and able to safeguard users’ online privacy if they are to attract more and loyal users to their sites. Value of the research: Very little research in the South African context exists with specific reference to how social networking sites are being utilised for trip organisation. This article contributes by unravelling factors which influence the usage of social networking sites for trip organisation. Conclusion: Perceived usefulness measured by functional benefits and social benefits is the key factor which influences attitude towards the use social networking sites for trip organisation. It is the responsibility of destination marketers to provide all the necessary or valuable information on their social networking site accounts, in order to encourage travellers to use social networking sites.