The use of information technology has been implemented in almost all the walks of human life. It is because the technology has numerous benefits to offer. The information technology is being already used in various sectors like Education, Health Care, Manufacturing, etc. The businesses have reported exponential growth after having implemented the technology. The consumer also feels more contented and satisfied with the services of the provider who makes the efficient use of technology. Because of the unparalleled growth the computer technology offers, the other sectors are also trying to avail the benefits offered by the information technology. Internet has also become the core component is providing the services to consumers. Following the suite, the tourism industry is now making the use of the information technology along with the internet to attract more business. This helps in brining the innovation and helps in the growth of the businesses. The tourism industry is now making the efficient use of social media and various mobile applications to increase the awareness of the people related to tourism. The growth of any business is primarily dependent on the use of technology. (Banyai, M. 2012). Thus, the tourism industry is moving towards the online platform by implementing the greater use of social media and mobile apps.
In today’s technical world, the growth of tourism business is dependent on the number of activities carried on social media. It is because social media plays a crucial role in determining the number of audience that is attracted. With the use of social media, the large number of audience can be attracted easily with comparatively less investment of time and efforts. The mobile apps play equally important in attracting more customers. It is because everyone is using mobile these days and the ease of using mobile apps make them very popular among the common people. Tourism industry is focusing on bringing more innovation in this sector by making the proper use of mobile apps and social media services. The information that is made available to the people with the use of these apps help in making them knowledgeable and arouse their interest in travelling to featured destinations. The packages are made available in attractive formats on mobile apps and advertise through social media services. They allure the customers into making their purchases and thus, help the tourism sector grow by leaps and bounds.
There are numerous issues faced by the tourism industry at this point when it comes to the implementation of social media and mobile apps in their businesses. These factors prove to be a great hindrance in the growth of this sector. (Crockett, S. 1998). The first issue is that there is a lack of knowledge of information technology that can be used by the tourism industry to promote its business. Another issue is of lack of innovation in this sector that affects the audience being attracted by this industry. The third issue is the improper presentation of thoughts and expressions using social media and mobile apps. The fourth major issue is the extremely bad impressions that are created by the improper presentation that leads to lot of criticism by the consumers. The fifth issue that has been reported from various surveys is that many of the potential travelers that can generate maximum revenues for tourism industry are still not fully familiar with the functions and applications of the social media and smart phones. The sixth issue in the list is that the service providers find it extremely difficult to filter the information that has to be made available to the consumers. Another issue is with the most powerful tool of social media that is word-of-mouth. It many lead to unfair criticism, incomplete information and unnecessary negativity. There is also an issue that only the most popular websites are presented well in the interest of the people. Another major issue is with the spammers. It is because they have a lot of potential in making social network a problem for inexperienced or new users with the social media. The last issue is that when the businesses start making the use of online activities such social media or mobile apps, their business is entirely held by social media.
There is a major problem of transmitting information to the rural sector. The rural sector doesn’t have easy access to information technology. It is, therefore, imperative to use those mediums for the transmission of knowledge that are readily available. Mobile phones and the apps available on them is the most feasible solution to all the problems as now even rural people are using mobile phones. Another problem that is of great concern is that social media may be used by tourists or employees in exposing the secrets or confidential information of an employer.
Like any other business, the growth of tourism industry depends on the number of tourists being attracted.
It is imperative to use innovative methods so as to attract more number of tourists. The innovation can be in the implementation of social media activities. This is to arouse the interest of general public in travelling to specified destinations. In order to arouse the interest of rural public and provide them with complete information regarding different places, the use of mobile apps can be made. (Guttentag, D. 2010). The information must be transmitted in a manner that is very interesting for the general public and arouse their interest in tourist places. Also, the platform that is used for communicating with the public must be simple to follow and understand. More innovation lead to better communication and thus helps in the development of the tourism sector.
The use of innovation in the tourism sector can be a very challenging job. It is imperative to include innovation on both social as well as technical front. The use of innovation helps in the fast growth of tourism business. However, it important for the service provides to analyze the cost of implementation of innovation in their businesses well in advance. If there are major changes required in the infra-structure, it might not be feasible for a service provider to incorporate the changes. (Hays, S., Page, S., & Buhalis, D. 2013). It is because of the changes needed in the services being offered that the large tourist companies are believed to be more innovative than small tourist companies.
With the advent of information technology, the role of social media has been imperative in the growth of tourism industry. It is because social media provides a platform for one-to-one interaction between the service provider and consumer. Extensive information on various destinations can be provided and feedback can easily be generated. Because of the potential the social media provides for the growth of tourism, all the businesses are now incorporating the use of social media to a greater extent. There are many social media platforms that can be used for this purpose like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Flickr, etc. (Hjalager, A. 1997). This journal aims at identifying the best social media platform to carry out promotional activities related to tourism industry. The businesses may opt for a single or multiple social media platforms depending on their requirement and the level of their marketing activities that are planned to be carried out. The marketing activities that are carried through social media help in generating lots of revenue.
This research identifies the scope of implementation of mobile applications in the economy of Japan. The method used for research is Delphi method. It highlights the use of two functions in the future mobile technology. The functions are Commerce and Location and situation function. The transaction behavior of traditional Japanese tourist will be taken care of by the commerce function. However, the location and situation function of the future mobile technology will take care of the well being of aged Japanese tourists. Thus, these functions are extremely important in determining the growth of this mobile app. It is, however, suggested that a complete care is taken to provide safety and security to the customer’s confidential information. (Höpken, W., Fuchs, M., Zanker, M., & Beer, T. 2010). This factor must be taken care of while developing this mobile app.
The use of various social media networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc is preferred as against traditional media in carrying out marketing and promotional activities in tourism industry. It is because it helps in the transmission of large amount of consumer based information about different destinations and tourism related activities. Furthermore, it helps in saving lot of time and money of the service provider. Using social media, the targeted audience can be reached very easily and at the same time. With the advent of social media, numerous apps have also been introduced with the aim of promoting the tourism sector. Two of the most commonly used apps are Fousquare and Foodspotting. (Jafari, J. 1981). These apps not only provide comprehensive information on various destinations but also make it possible for the consumers to book their trips from their phones.
With the advent of wireless networks, all the tasks of an individual can be performed on his smart phone. For the reasons of growth and providing convenience to the customers, all the businesses are now going online. This includes the tourism industry as well. Various mobile based tourism applications have been launched in the market. They enable the customer to book their trips from their places. Furthermore, they may even be used to take a virtual tour of any destination. The idea behind making this possible is to excite the customer to visit that place that will lead to increase in revenue of tourism companies. (Kiráľová, A., & Pavlíčeka, A. 2015). The comprehensive information is provided on apps that make it easy for customers to choose the destination of their interest. These apps also help in arousing the interest of public in travelling. The mobile based apps have been found to be much better than the conventional destination marketing tools. They not only help in attracting more people but are also more users friendly.
With the growth in the sector of information technology, it is imperative for every business to go online these days. It is no more a luxury for any of the businesses to go online but a mere necessity as most of the consumers are available online only. The use of social media in promoting the regions those are dependent on tourism is very important for the economy of any country. In order to develop tourism in different regions, the modern technique is of virtual tourism. (LIBURD, J. 2005). This helps in influencing the purchasing decisions of a tourist to a large extent. The factors that may influence the growth of tourism in any sector are socio- economic reasons. The technology plays the most significant role in promoting any region for travel purposes.
Using a mobile app to promote a business is a very common approach these days. It helps in attracting the targeted audience in large amounts and help in generating the customers’ reviews and feedbacks of their services. Depending upon the customers’ feedback, the business of a company can be a failure or success. The customer’s comments helps in providing experiences to the general public. (Mattsson, J., Sundbo, J., & Fussing‐Jensen, C. 2005). However, certain people may provide incomplete or incorrect information that may lead to undue criticism and failure of a business. Even the social media can do the similar harm for any business by providing negative feedback intended for a wrong purpose.
For a continuous growth of any business, the research and implementation of new techniques play the most important role. With any changes in the business environment, the company must be in a position to respond to that change by incorporating new techniques. The failure to do may lead to the huge failure of a company. This is true even in the case of tourism companies. The tourism companies must be very quick in responding to any changes in the technology or the use of techniques. The company must stand competitive in the market by providing latest and upgraded product. For this, the role of strategic alliance is very important. (Moscardo, G. (2008). The various benefits of strategic alliance include the conservation of resources, risk sharing and the reduction of product development cost. It is, therefore, vital that the strategic alliance is well stimulated with the tourism industry. This can be achieved by reducing the associated risks, making the resources independent and by knowledge sharing.
Hotels and small restaurants in the tourism industry often have low survival rate. They incorporate the use of non-innovative techniques for their businesses. The protection of innovation the tourism industry is the biggest challenge for the industry players. It mostly depends upon the quality of staff that has been deployed by the hotels and restaurants. The use of innovation must be made in the tourism industry in order to achieve the high standards of quality and that too at lower costs.
In today’s digital world, it is necessary that both small scale as well as large scale tourism companies have their online presence. They must engage themselves in various social media as well other online activities. (Zeng, B., & Gerritsen, R. 2014). All the companies must have their functional websites and continually use social media to carry out various expansion activities. The strong internet presence help the companies grow fast by attracting customers in large numbers. The expansion of their businesses is dependent on the feedback generated by the customers about their product. By working on the suggestions that are provided by the clients, the changes can be made to ensure the complete satisfaction of customers. These small steps are important in determining the growth of any tourism company. The negative feedback if generated in large amount may significantly affect the growth of a business. There must be a continuous watch on spammers or the activities of the rival who may do potential harm for the survival of the business. Word-of-play can, therefore, play an important role in this industry.
When the efforts are made to provide detailed information about any place, it helps in boosting the tourism of that place. When the social medial platforms such as Facebook, twitter or networking blogs are used to provide information on that place, more and more people become aware about the place and want to go there. The information that is provided contains all the details about the popular attractions, the social and economic culture, the safety and the general environment of the place. (Banyai, 2012) The social media and mobile apps play an important message in sending across the message of the service providers. The information transmitted by the use of social media and mobile apps encourage people to visit that place and book their tours online. The social media is also used by many supporters of the place when they find the downturn in the number of tourists coming to their area. The supporters are then found spreading the positive information about the place and alluring the customers into visiting their area. They may even look at providing virtual tours to the clients so as to support their claims. The social media therefore helps in attracting back tourists to the destination that seems to have lost its charm.
The use of social network and mobile applications for promoting the tourism industry includes making customers from different regions came to know about the different facilities being provided by the tourism industry to the consumers. The main problem with the use of social media and mobile application for promoting the tourism industry includes how to make effective use of social media for the exposure of new business. The issue with it is how to change the visitors of the website or mobile app into the actual customers of the tourism company. This conversion is not that much easy, it contains huge amount of efforts from the marketing department of the business to let the visitors become the consumer of the company. The Lack of knowledge issue can be solved by developing the social sites page and mobile app of the tourism company which will help the consumers to know about this business or facilities that a company can provide the consumer in same package. (Chan & Guillet, 2011)The use of social media and mobile application for exposure of the business of tourism is not as simple as it seems. There are different kinds of marketing strategies which needs to be used for making it effective so that huge amount of people with little knowledge about it will be convinced to invest their money in order to visit a particular destination through the tourism industries. A tourism industry will not turn its loss into profit if it started using the social sites and mobile apps with the customers. There is needed to make proper connection with the customers. Answer each query of the consumers and make the mobile app as attractive as company can so that consumer will love to try the offers and gift vouchers presented by the companies to the users on the social media or mobile app. (Hajli & Lin, 2014)These platforms should be used for making the consumer know about the each and every activity of the company in order to provide the maximum level of satisfaction to the customers with its services. It is essential for Tourism Company as well as for the other company to make a group of people on the social sites in order to reach the target audience and conveys its message to them easily. It is not easy as there are so many social messages which consumers used to read daily and company has to make its way to make the consumer to read each social message of the company and efforts of company will not end here, company also has to make the efforts to convert the consumer from the visitor of the company’s website to the actual customer. The next problem is company has to invest its precious time in order to manage the social site campaign and mobile apps in order to meet the desired objectives of the Tourism industry. The company also can collect the feedback from the customers on the social sites as well as mobile app but company has to make huge investment in order to provide proper security to the sensitive or personal data of the consumers. Moreover, many other companies may try the same way for attracting the more customers and thus, it will not be easy to focus on trying new strategies, new technologies should also be adopted in order to attract the huge amount of employees towards the business. (Munar & Jacobsen, 2014)Even the competitors may try to ruin the image of the company by posting the negative feedback regarding the company on the social sites thus, it is another issue that it is not in hand of company to control the content to be posted on the social sites. It is also essential to appoint a staff for managing all kinds of activities related to the social sites and mobile apps like mobile app contains high quality pictures of destinations, video feedback by some customers to show its services and suggestions by the customers. This staff will prevent the competitors to post the negative feedback on the company’s website in order to ruin the image of the company.
The mobile app should be updated regularly and all the important suggestion provided by the customers on the mobile app feedback option should be used effectively in order to provide more convenience to the consumers with the services of the tourism company. Moreover, this will help the company to present positive image of the company and customers will have sense of responsibility to provide good suggestion to the company so that it can make necessary improvements in the functionality of the mobile app and grow in right direction.
The purposed solution to the use of social media and mobile apps in tourism industry include appointment of technical staff which can handle all the queries related to the customers. Like, there is essential to keep upgrading the mobile app as it is the way of attracting the new customers. Thus, there is need to let the customers experience the virtual environment which will help the consumers to understand the tourism company will help the consumer to reach that destination. The advanced features in the mobile app will definitely help it to be popular among the youngsters and all will love to share the experience with others. Thus, if company has different technical staff that will responsible to handle or manage the mobile apps and social media then it will reduce the burden of company related to the different issues with the use of social media and mobile apps for promoting the services of the tourism industry. (Schaffer, 2014)The staff will work for 24/7 in order to provide the answer to the each query asked by the users. This will encourage the consumers to ask any kind of query related to the services of the company and this will also reduce the inconvenience of the customers as all queries will be answered on time. There will also no problem of over booking or any other actions for which company’s claimed but is not able to fulfill. Thus, staff will be appointed to make the all necessary arrangements in order to increase the traffic on the social site of the tourism company and mobile app. The mobile app should be easy to use so that any age group use it effectively and there should be option to choose any language and all instructions or information about the company’s services will be provided to the consumers. The company should not provide the false information to the customers as this may ruin the image of the company and it is very important for the business to make a trust factor between the company and the customers in order to gain more and more profit from the business. If company will have good communication with the customers then it will help the company in the exposure of the business and these two mediums that is social media and mobile apps can be used for attracting more and more customers towards the Tourism industry. (Schwartz, 2005)These mediums will also help to let people know about this business and how this business can help them in reaching their destination effectively. The other thing is to keep the personal information of the consumer safe from the attackers. Good social marketing strategy will help the company to reach the desired space in the competitive market. As social marketing is not a temporary solution so there is need to consider the long term strategic planning before choosing particular social site for promoting the business.
- It is essential for the business of tourism to verify the information before posting it to the website as visitor will convert into consumer after reading this valuable information provided by the company on its website or mobile apps. Thus, there should not be anything claimed on the website which company is not able to provide to the consumers as this will result in the negative impression on the consumers about the company.
- Effective communication with the consumers will help the company to follow right path towards the success. The consumer’s suggestion should be taken seriously and implanted into the website and mobile app so that consumer will love to share his experience with other as this will ultimately benefit of the company. Thus, there is need to provide the answer of each query of the consumer as it will make him feel that company is genuine and provide quality services to the consumers. (Sigala, 2015)
- Mobile apps should be interactive and easy to use. There should be many facilities in the mobile app which will let the people know about the latest services or plans of the company. This will excite the consumer to use that services and company can use both mediums that are social media and mobile app to promote its new services and enhance the convenience of the customers which will be a positive point for the company’s growth.
- Company will be able to target the audience of rural areas as they do not have much knowledge about tourism business, thus social media and mobile apps help them to gain their knowledge about this business. This will also help the company to build its brand image in rural areas too.
Online presence is important for each business. Social media and mobile apps are two new trendy marketing strategies which helps both company as well as customers to enjoy a good bonding between them. But there are several problems associated with the use of these two for promoting the business. Thus, if these issues are identified on time and solved permanently then company can make much more profit from its business by using these two means of communication with the customer. Different technologies can be used for attracting more and more customers towards the business and keep the personal information of the customers protected from the attackers. The different kinds of marketing strategies can be used which will be helpful for promoting the business in shorter span of time into the customers. There are different difficulties which company has to face in order to promote its business on the internet. As, mobile apps are always help the tourism company to grow the business even in rural areas, there is only need to make corrective expectations from the social media and try to avoid any kind of negative feedback as it might ruin the reputation of the company otherwise these two mediums can be used for catching the attentions of huge number of customers by providing the quality services.