Technology a new important form of digitized

Technology has transformed the way people communicate
and share information to others by posting them on the Internet; one of them is
through the use of a blog. Blogging has become popular among Internet users. Sharda
and Ponnada (2007) define blog as ‘virtual diaries created by individuals and
stored on the web for anyone to access’, while Pan, Mc Laurin and Crots (2007)
stated that blogs as a new important form of digitized word-of mouth
communication.

 

Pühringer and Taylor (2008), define that travel blog
as ‘individual entries, which related to planned, current or past travel’. It is
the equivalent of personal diaries, commonly written by tourist to report back
to friends and families about their activities and experiences during trips.

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They also point out that travel blogs can be a great source of information for
people planning a holiday trip (Puhringer and Taylor, 2008).

 

Pudliner (2007) state that travel blogs can be
compared to digital story telling. Earlier traveling was considered a luxury
available only for few people. In order to read a story about traveling people
had to purchase those stories published in the form of brochures, monologues,
newspaper accounts novellas, novels, sketches and painting (Pudliner, 2007).

All these information exist in travel blogs, in blogs, people can write about
their own destination images and provide others with functional cues, such as
better accommodation or essential attractions, even using photos or films to
illustrate the places they have been. Prospective tourist can search blogs for
subjective travel experiences and can even respond to others’ experiences (Yoo
and Gretzel, 2012).

 

In the context of hospitality and tourism, this new
type of media is substantive. For example, according to research conducted by
the Austrian National Tourist Office, they found that 25 per cent of German
tourists’ in Austria look for travel information online (Pühringer and Taylor,
2008). A similar study done by Lin and Huang (2006) found that only one blog
–”I left my heart in the Aegean sea”- can attracted about two million visitors
in the first six months. This relates the potential influences of bloggers on tourists’
and their travel decisions. While on the other hand, according to Peel and
Sørensen (2016), unlike guidebooks, which are soon out-of-date and so often
fail to provide current “true” image of places and services; blogs offer
relatively more up-to-date information and real photographs. They also stated
that guidebooks become generic and the authors are perceived to be unqualified,
too young, too old and/or not “proper backpackers” (Peel and Sørensen, 2016,
p.96). Wenger pointed out that blogs are becoming a more important mechanism
for exchanging information among tourists, and for destinations and businesses
to learn about the attitudes of their markets. (cited in Banyai and Havitz,
2010).

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