Original Research

Social media in tourism: Establishing factors influencing attitudes towards the usage of social networking sites for trip organisation

Rosemary Matikiti, Mercy Mpinganjira, Mornay Roberts-Lombard
Acta Commercii | Vol 17, No 1 | a396 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v17i1.396 | © 2017 Rosemary Matikiti, Mercy Mpinganjira, Mornay Roberts-Lombard | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 April 2016 | Published: 31 January 2017

About the author(s)

Rosemary Matikiti, Department of Marketing Management (Kingsway Campus), University of Johannesburg,, South Africa
Mercy Mpinganjira, Department of Marketing Management (Kingsway Campus), University of Johannesburg,, South Africa
Mornay Roberts-Lombard, Department of Marketing Management (Kingsway Campus), University of Johannesburg,, South Africa


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Abstract

Purpose: The main aim of this study was to determine the attitude towards the use of SNSs for trip organisation and its precursors.
Problem investigated: Tourism organisations and destination policy makers need to understand factors that influence tourist use of SNSs for trip organisation in order for them to be able to effectively utilise SNSs.
Methodology: The methodological approach followed was exploratory and quantitative in nature. Data were collected from a total of 340 respondents using a structured questionnaire. Structural equation modelling through the use of Partial Least Squares was for data analysis.
Findings and implications: The results show that attitude towards the use of SNSs for trip organisation is affected by perceived benefits, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control, with perceived usefulness having the greatest influence. The implication is that managers of tourism organisations need to ensure that their sites are informative, easy to use and able to safeguard users’ online privacy if they are to attract more and loyal users to their sites.
Value of the research: Very little research in the South African context exists with specific reference to how SNSs are being utilised for trip organisation. This article contributes by unravelling factors that influence the use of SNSs for trip organisation.
Conclusion: Perceived usefulness measured by functional benefits and social benefits is the key factor that influences attitude towards the use of SNSs for trip organisation. It is the responsibility of destination marketers to provide all the necessary or valuable information on their SNS accounts, in order to encourage travellers to use SNSs

Keywords

social networking sites; trip organisation; customer attitude; behavioural intention; South Africa

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