Consumer-Generated Web-Based Tourism Marketing.
By CRC for Sustainable Tourism
Tuesday, 24th November 2009
With the rising popularity of sites that contain content submitted by real travellers (eg TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, and social networking sites such as MySpace and YouTube), the ways that travellers search for, view and evaluate travel information is potentially changing.

This study investigated how travel-related User-Generated Content (UGC) web sites (also known as Web 2.0 sites) were being used by consumers. The study captured traveller perceptions with respect to how such sites impacted on their information search and travel behaviour.

Understanding this impact on behaviour can help tourism and destination marketers develop more effective e-business strategies and relationships with their existing and potential customers.

What the research coveredThe study examined:
  • what form travel websites are taking
  • how they are incorporating UGC content
  • what specific UCG sites online consumers consider and how they use them
  • how useful they find these sites compared to other travel information sources
  • the influence UCG travel sites have on travel behaviour
  • the implications of consumers' use of these sites for the marketing of tourism services and destinations.Methodology
The research for this project consisted of a website analysis and an online survey of users.

Phase one involved the analysis of 30 tourism and related websites (based on a search of key travel sites containing Web 2.0 features that were suggested by Tourism NSW), representing a ‘snapshot in time' of travel-related websites.

Phase two involved a 10 minute online survey undertaken in December 2007.

A link to the survey was included in an email invitation to Tourism NSW's database of email subscribers, with an incentive prize included to encourage responses.

The response rate was around 12% and there were 12,544 responses usable for analysis.

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