In many ways, the travel industry has tended to focus on business travelers and wealthier tourists, ignoring travelers such as backpackers who tend to travel on a tight budget and have little to spend. for their trip. However, there is a subset of backpackers, knowledgeable and educated and very active on social media that the industry would do well to find ways to engage with. These digital backpackers typically review and report on the places they visit and the sites they see, often as video bloggers or vloggers.
Research in the International Journal of Knowledge Management in Tourism and Hospitality, investigated the vlogging backpacker and how some of these people became so-called “influencers”. The influence effect could have a positive impact on tourism, especially if the industry can engage well with people who could encourage others to visit a particular destination.
Hasliza Hassan of Cyberjaya Multimedia University and Abu Bakar Sade of Universiti Putra Malaysia, both in Selangor, Malaysia, and Muhammad Sabbir Rahman of North-South University in Dhaka, Bangladesh, point out that many backpackers vlogging have already been recruited as ambassadors. For tourist destinations in many parts of the world that may not be on the usual commercial travel routes, this could mean a big boom in travel to these places in the years to come. This could help reverse much of the decline in tourism caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the team suggests.
The researchers point out that travel vloggers tend to have a positive view of the places they visit, the sights they see, and the food and entertainment they partake in while traveling. Followers of major influencers expect and anticipate this positivity, the team says. The research’s suggestion is that travel agencies should keep travel vloggers in mind as digitally savvy allies who could be supported with accommodation and transport and thus have an influence on a particular travel destination or route. This could make the digital backpacker a powerful promotional item in the travel and tourism industry, the team adds.
More hippie trail routes as backpackers become tourists
Hasliza Hassan et al, Digitalization from backpacker to travel vlogger, International Journal of Knowledge Management in Tourism and Hospitality (2022). DOI: 10.1504/IJKMTH.2022.124101
Quote: How the Digital Backpacker Can Positively Impact Tourism (2022, July 22) Retrieved July 22, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-07-digital-backpacker-positively-impact-tourism.html
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