Role of new media in promoting tourism
New media is a terminology which emerged in the late 20th century to indicate the amalgamation of traditional media such as film, images, music, spoken and written word, with the interactive power of computer and communications technology, most importantly the Internet. What distinguishes New media from traditional media is not the digitizing of media content into bits, but the dynamic life of the "new media" content and its interactive relationship with the media consumer in real time. Another important promise of New Media is the "democratization" of the creation, publishing, distribution and consumption of media content. Andrew L. Shapiro (1999) argues that the "emergence of new, digital technologies signals a potentially radical shift of who is in control of information, experience and resources" (Shapiro cited in Croteau and Hoynes 2003: 322). Neuman says "We are witnessing the evolution of a universal interconnected network of audio, video, and electronic text communications that will blur the distinction between interpersonal and mass communication and between public and private communication" (Neuman cited in Croteau and Hoynes 2003: 322). Neuman further argues that New Media will:
Alter the meaning of geographic distance.
Allow for a huge increase in the volume of communication. •
Provide the possibility of increasing the speed of communication. •
Provide opportunities for interactive communication.
Allow forms of communication that were previously separate - to overlap and interconnect. Co-existence of all the above factors albeit to different degrees characterize different components of the new media. The components change continuously due to the fact that they are constantly modified and redefined by the interaction between the creative use of the masses, emerging technology, cultural changes, etc. As of now, New Media constitutes forms of communication that use the Internet, such as podcasts, RSS feeds, social networks( facebook, linked in, orkut…), text messaging, blogs, wiki’s virtual worlds and more! It makes it possible for anyone to create, modify, and share content and share it with others, using relatively simple tools that are often free or inexpensive. All that is required is a computer or mobile device with Internet access.
While new media is becoming more acceptable, it is still away from academic studies and theoretical framework which may describe its behavior. In absence of such information, we look at the instances where some component of the new media have been used successfully to deduce factors which are responsible for making the usage effective and successful. In this paper, we take a look at some case studies where usage of a component of new media to promote a tourist product has met with success and a lot of learning. An analysis of the key success factors, shall lead to our understanding of how best to use diverse components of new media in tourism promotion. Case -1 Social media marketing for Mahindra Homestays
Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of new media, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content." Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts, pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. The ‘Mahindra homestays’ employed various social media components to its advantage as shown in the case study below. Mahindra homestays is an initiative by Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Limited to tap the homestay industry in India.. A homestay is ‘value for money’ accommodation facility provided in a private home, with no more than 8 rooms available for guest, run by the owner, offering authentic experiences and building closer ties between the guest and the host without overloading the...
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