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According to Facebook, the social network is being used by its users to share travel and vacation ideas, pics and information. Every year, a growth in the amount of travel related content can be noticed on Facebook and also other social networks. Why? Its actually quite simple, as many Facebook users use the network partly to get away from their daily lives and also the reality. Therefore, travel pictures and posts about famous landmarks in foreign countries are quite popular within the social networks and many consumers are increasingly posting their travel memories on the network. This is then often a trigger for other consumers to comment, share it themselves and start thinking about a holiday they could do themselves, thinking about how they could have similar experiences with their partner and families. Facebook is helping many consumers to get inspired and get sucked into a Dream stage with regards to holiday trips (AllFacebook 2014).

POWER OF IMAGES

There is a pretty simple explanation as to why Facebook as a social network and travel content are a perfect match: images. The network relies on a live feed of content and updates that are mainly image driven, as these are more impactful. Images can also make a users’ life look way more exciting and glamorous than it actually is in reality. When travel pictures are being posted, a user will select the best ones, that illustrate the holiday in the best way, which is to make friends and families and other users jealous. All of these points are the main reason why Facebook is very efficient with regards to travel and is also used as one of the main reasons why Facebook itself is stressing the fact that tourism destinations and businesses need to be active on the social network, get the word out and is offering a number of ways for tourism companies to do so.

THE REALITY

The reality of the tourism industry’s usage of Facebook is that many are still not taking full advantage of the social network with regards to promoting its services and products within Facebook. This is really down to the fact that for many consumers, Facebook is an inspiration tool that gets them dreaming but Facebook is often not the place where consumers then go onto the next stage in terms of planning and in particular booking a holiday. However, Facebook provides tourism businesses and destinations with the opportunity to provide booking within the site. Some businesses such as Delta or Direct Ferries are already taking advantage of using Facebook also another opportunity for their fans and consumers in general to book. The majority of tourism companies is however not there yet. It is also being made more complicated due to the fact that most big players in tourism have not yet made that step. Facebook cannot guarantee whether its users would like to book within the social network rather than to professional booking sites, making it rather difficult for most tourism businesses and destinations to justify that step.

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