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From a click to a trip: An experiment on how to stimulate users' visual engagement and travel intention in the era of Instragram.

Archenti, Alice (2023) From a click to a trip: An experiment on how to stimulate users' visual engagement and travel intention in the era of Instragram.

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Abstract:The aim of the present study focuses on gaining a better understanding of the application of the Elaboration Likelihood Model in relation to travel information retrieved from Instagram, with special regards to the impact that visual stimuli (the source of the post, style, and content of the picture) may have on travel intention and the credibility model. Tourism marketing strategies on social media platforms have become an important focus for academic studies. The research conducted on this topic have provided numerous and relevant insights about influencer’s physical characteristics, or users’ travel personality. Overall fewer studies focus on the type of visual content shared on social media platform to attract users. The present research was designed as an online experiment, and it was distributed among 249 participants. The survey assessed respondents’ levels of travel intention after the exposure to one of the 8 Instagram posts manipulated in a 2 (micro-influencer vs. official travel account) x 2 (commercial style vs. domestic style) x 2 (monument vs. local folks) experimental design. Furthermore, participants were asked to evaluate their perception of trustworthiness and expertise with regard to the source of the post, in addition to their perception of authenticity about the advertised travel destination. Official accounts’ posts were considered as higher in expertise than micro-influencers. Additionally, pictures of folks led to a higher travel intention than when featuring monuments. Image style did not impact participants’ intention to travel without taking into account attitude towards the post. In addition, no mediation was found between source of the post and travel intention through trustworthiness or expertise. The role played by perceived authenticity with the source credibility model remains unclear. The findings of this study emphasized the relevance of source credibility model theory in relation to the ELM in the context of travel marketing. Furthermore, it may provide strategic advantages for many stakeholders involved in the tourism industry, such as tourism enterprises, travel marketers (Destination Marketing Organizations), and both national and local governments with specific competence in tourism matters.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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