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Social media can play a role in hotel decisions

Researchers find many travelers are looking for an ‘experience’

When contemplating a destination, some travelers look to how the experience might translate to social media when making their decision, according to a new study by University of Georgia researchers.

They found that the motivations behind where travelers choose to stay while on a trip can go beyond customer service or cleanliness into what they can post online.

Overall, large franchise hotels still continue to dominate the travel market, said co-author Bynum Boley, an associate professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources who studies travel and tourism. In general, hotel chains offer consistent service and cleanliness, and guests generally know what they’re going to get.

“When you have all these choices out there, you’re going with the one that’s the least risky. But service quality is so standardized now—there’s all these reviews online, and service quality is almost a given,” Boley said. “But there’s also a rising influence in people who want a unique experience and also want to be able to broadcast their travel experiences through social media.”

As a result, the “experience” an independently owned hotel offers its guests plays a role in their decision to stay there. This is not the case for franchise chains.

Read the full story on the UGA News website.

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