Reviewing the Past to Inform the Future: A Literature Review of Social Media in Tourism

Open access

Abstract

Acknowledging the significant advancement of social media, the role and impact of social media has been widely discussed in tourism research. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to obtain an overview of the knowledge produced in relation to the topic. Review studies provide such overviews to guide future research efforts. This study reviews and analyses 152 tourism-related social media publications since 2008. Based on a qualitative systematic analysis of publications that address the topic from a consumer perspective, the paper identifies publication trends and highlights patterns in the topics, aims, and research designs of existing publications. Specifically, it captures a broader array of consumer-centric topics than previous reviews and highlights methodological gaps. Moreover, the research argues that there is still ample room for more research on social media in tourism, particularly as the existing literature neglects social media beyond review platforms while demonstrating that user-generated content greatly influences tourist behaviours and experiences.

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