Accepted paper:

The impact of photography in online tourism marketing - A case study of Accommodation Sector in Japan

Authors:

Takamitsu Jimura (Liverpool John Moores University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the impact of photography in online tourism marketing. Photographs work as tangible memories for tourists and images for prospective tourists. The images delivered online by tourists and presented by tourism producers can affect tourists’ decision making process and their expectation.

Paper long abstract:

This paper aims to examine the impact of photography as images in online tourism marketing. In tourism, photographs work as tangible memories for tourists and images for prospective tourists. Because of the rise of the Internet, now almost all tourism producers (hosts) (e.g. accommodation, attractions, transport and catering) and intermediaries (e.g. travel agents and tour operators) in most countries have their own websites. Most of such websites present images as well as text information. In addition, more and more of them also use Social Networking Sites for marketing purposes: they upload images on their Facebook page, for instance. The impact of the Internet is not limited to the images presented by the host side of tourism. Recently tourists can also deliver images from their trips to all the people who have access to the Internet via Social Networking Sites such as Facebook or Flickr. As a result, the impact of the images in online marketing has become stronger thanks to its immediacy and its ability to be diffused easily and widely. Moreover, word-of-mouth (WOM) also becomes eWOM by being shared online (e.g. TripAdvisor), and can be uploaded by tourists and read by prospective tourists easily and immediately. As a result of the research on eWOM available at TripAdvisor and Japanese e-travel agents, it has been identified that photos presented online as images by both tourism producers and tourists can affect tourists' decision making process and their expectation together with eWOM itself.

panel P12
Tourism and Photography