Journal of Tourism Research & HospitalityISSN: 2324-8807

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Research Article, J Tourism Res Hospitality Vol: 1 Issue: 4

Do Twitter and Facebook Matter? Examining the Economic Impact of Social Media Marketing in Tourism Websites of Atlantic Canada

Abstract

Do Twitter and Facebook Matter? Examining the Economic Impact of Social Media Marketing in Tourism Websites of Atlantic Canada

This paper quantifies the economic impacts of introducing social media as marketing tools in the tourism websites of the provinces of Atlantic Canada: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. The authors build on prior marketing research of tourism website design in Atlantic Canada and focus on eight forms of social media: e-newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, RSS, YouTube, Flickr, Travel Blog, and Share. They used panel techniques for data across the four provinces and the months in 2005-2010 to estimate models of tourism-related economic activity (hotel rooms available and rented, hotel occupancy, number of domestic and US visitors, etc.). As independent variables, they used measures that are standard in economic models (unemployment rates, retail sales, exchange rates, interest rates, temperatures and seasonal dummies, etc.) and various measures of the timing of the introduction of social media into provincial tourism websites. Their results highlight the strong seasonal patterns in tourism data in Atlantic Canada, the role of domestic and international economic data in predicting various measures of tourism, and provide preliminary evidence that adopting social media as marketing tools may have contributed substantially to tourism. Finally, the research seeks to highlight the role in tourism promotion of ongoing innovations in marketing, such as using social media, and the importance of tourism as an economic driver in the region.

Keywords: Tourism marketing; Social media marketing; Economic impacts; Atlantic Canada

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