JEL Classifications: M30, M31
USING SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR ATTRACTING FOREIGN TOURISTS TO GEORGIAN DESTINATIONS Author: Nugzar Todua
| Published: 2019-07-29
| Pages: 39-48
For Citation: Todua N. (2019), Using Social Media Marketing For Attracting Foreign Tourists To Georgian Destinations, Globalization And Business, N7, pp. 39-48. (In Georgian).
At current stage business development cannot be imagined without social networks. The customers spend more and more time in social networks and get most part of the information from them. Therefore, for the companies, the social media is a powerful tool for attraction of clients and for competition. Usingthe social media marketing is particularly popular in tourism industry. Technological changes in mass media allow immediate distribution of information in the sphere of tourism. Reasonable using of social networks in tourism requires creative marketing approaches ensuring coverage of the target audience to maximal possible extent. Sites of social media became the primary source of information for the destination management organizations. Usually the tourists trust online information and before commencement of travel they visit the forums and online reviews, as well as specialized blogs. Hence, there is a close relationship between involvement of tourists’ social network sites and change in their behavior. Technological development and globalization of media creates new opportunities providing sharing the information between tourist consumers through blogs, web sites or destination sites. The destinations need creative and powerful social media marketing strategies to attract potential visitors. Social media helps the destinations to communicate with the visitors at relatively low costs and higher effectiveness than traditional communication methods. Social media, as an instrument for stimulation is used for the purposes of interactive marketing. Though, it is notable that there is a growing number of visitors, who use social media applications, creating new challenges in entire tourism industry.
As social media plays a significant role in the activities of travel agencies, we found reasonable to find out the level of satisfaction of the foreign tourists with the activities of Georgian tourist companies in social media. Market research showed that of social media platforms, among the foreign tourists the most widespread is Facebook. 85.1% of the respondents use it. It is followed by YouTube (54.7%), Instagram (32.4%), Google+ (31.1%), Linkedin (29.9%), Twitter (27.2%) and MySpace (15.5%). 14% of the respondents use the other social networks (Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Reddit, Ask.fin, Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki). Study demonstrated interest of the respondents to the information provided by the sites related to tourism, their trust and satisfaction. Analysis shows that the respondents are satisfied with the social media marketing offered by Georgian travel agencies to certain extent.
As a result of our market study we can conclude that Georgia is an attractive destination for the foreign tourists. Therefore, the number of repeated visits to Georgia increases from year to year. In making choice of Georgian travel agencies, the foreign tourists basically rely on the information in social networks and word-of-mouth marketing. Though, interest, trust and satisfaction of the foreign customers to social media marketing offered by Georgian travel companies are at the average level. Therefore, foreign tourists evaluate media marketing activities conducted by Georgian tourist companies as average and this underlines insufficient activity of Georgian tourist companies in social networks.
With the help of marketing research obtained levels of interest, reliability and satisfaction of foreign tourists in relationto social media marketing provided by Georgian destinations.On the basis of analysis of the research results statistically significant values were obtained that show influence of the activity, interest and reliability regarding to social media marketing provided by Georgian destinations on the foreign tourists’ satisfaction.In the work statistically significant value is also received reflecting the influence of the social media activity provided by Georgian destinations on buying behavior of foreign tourists’.
GEORGIAN TOURISM MARKET, TOURIST DESTINATIONS, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING,FOREIGN TOURISTS, MARKETING RESEARCH
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