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발행기관 : 글로벌지식마케팅경영학회(GFMC) 수록지정보 : Global Marketing Conference
저자명 : Kaede Sano

영어 초록

Social media was originally based on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and is described as “user-generated content” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Although initially used for communication among internet users for privacy, it has become one of the most powerful online networking tools, and in the last few years has been widely practiced in the real world to enhance relationships between businesses and customers. Virtual tourist communities are not a new concept; they have been used for more than 10 years by tourists to exchange opinions and experiences of certain travel destinations. In tourism, internet based social communities have greatly expanded recently as a result of Web 2.0 technologies’ development. Tourists use the Internet to obtain information on trips, and share experiences related to their trip before, during and after their vacation (Parra-Lopez et al., 2011). Therefore, behaviors such as sharing photos and videos, writing travel experiences in blogs and microblogs, ranking travel destinations and posting opinions on social forums (for example, TripAdvisor) are becoming generalized (Chung & Buhalis, 2008) into what has been called Travel 2.0 (Adam, et al., 2007). The purpose and importance of this study is to explore how tourists perceive the value of social media as practiced in the tourism industry. We also investigate travel agencies’ social media marketing activities, and how tourists’ perceived value of social media affects their intention to use social media for organizing their vacation. Conceptual foundations Perceived value of using social media in tourism Perceived value is treated as a major element in a number of tourism research papers (for example, Parasuraman & Grewal, 2000; Sweeny & Soutar, 2001; Jin et al. 2015). As Parra-Lopez et al. (2011, pp.641) said, “the identification of the types of customer value perceived by travelers using social media for trip planning purposes is very essential, because it can provide significant guidelines on how to design the information sources, the structure and the functionality of social media in order to enhance their web traffic, usage and competiveness”. Realizing the essential role of social media in the tourist industry, and clarifying how to measure the perceived value of using social media is required. Because perceived value is defined as ‘cognitive-affective evaluation’ in this study, we employ both cognitive and affective variables to measure the perceived value of using social mediato organize vacations. This study applies four dimensions – ‘functional’, ‘social’, ‘altruism’ and ‘trust’ from Parra-Lopez et al.’s (2011) study - to measure the value that travelers perceive from using social media to organize their vacations. Because both cognitive and affective value are used to evaluate a product or service during the purchasing process (Bajs, 2015), it seems reasonable to assume that ‘function’, ‘social’, ‘altruism’, and ‘trust’ are regarded as essential when measuring the perceived value of using social media to organize vacations. Such propositions and findings provide valuable insights that enable us to introduce our Hypothesis 1. H1: ‘Functional’, ‘Social’, ‘Altruism’ and ‘Trust’ are the dominant dimensions in the perceived value of using social media in organizing vacations. The inter-relationship of attitudes towards social media marketing activities and the perceived value and intention of using social media to organize vacations Social media is seen as one of the most powerful communication tools, and social media marketing (referred to henceforth as ‘SMM’) is used by business companies to build and maintain relationships with their customers in various fields (Kim & Ko, 2012). In previous studies, such as Kim and Ko (2012) as well as Teo and Tan (2002), it has been claimed that customers’ attitudes towards SMM activities affect brand equity. This conclusion is also supported by Chan and Guillet’s (2011) study, which shows the important role of SMM in the hospitality industry. Nowadays, most travel agencies in Japan have created their social communities aiming to enhance their relationship with customers and promote their travel products. Aker and Topcu (2011) suggest that attitude greatly affects people’s purchase intention and behavior. Moreover, the wide acceptance of SMM also means that a positive attitude towards SMM affects the perceived value of social media. It has been clarified that perceived value is positive when the benefits are greater than the sacrifices (Zeithaml, 1988). As more and more tourists rely on social media to enhance their vacations, this suggests that the perceived benefit of social media is greater than the sacrifice, and therefore its perceived value positively affects the behavior intention of tourists who use social media to organize vacations. This academic background leads us to Hypothesis 2. H2: Both direct effect (i.e. attitude towards SMM activities→Intention) and indirect effect (i.e. attitude towards SMM activities→ Perceived value→Intention) will provide a good explanation of tourists’ intention of using social media to organize vacations. Methodology Proposed conceptual model Based on the theoretical background, this study proposes a conceptual model (see Figure 1) to show the inter-relationship of ‘attitudes towards SMM activities’, ‘perceived value’ and ‘behavior intention’. Figure 1: Conceptual Model Measurement This study involves items which have been used in past research. All items were developed based on the 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’ (see Table 1).Data collection The empirical data for this study was collected by an online survey conducted by one of the biggest research companies in Japan from March 13th to March 16th, 2015. A screening test was conducted to select suitable respondents with experience of using social media to organize their vacation and had accessed or used travel agencies’ social media, such as Facebook, Blog, and Twitter. Finally, due to the limited research budget, 622 valid samples were collected to be used in analysing the conceptual model. Data analysis results As all items presented in this study are cited from past research, we employed second-order confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) directly to explore the dominant dimensions of the perceived value of using social media to organize vacations (H1), and covariance structure analysis to investigate the inter-relationship among attitudes towards SMM activities, perceived value and behavior intention (H2). The results of data analysis are shown below (see Figure 2&3). Conclusions and managerial implications Based on the results reported in the present study, ‘functional’, ‘social’, ‘altruism’ and ‘trust’ are shown as dominant dimensions of perceived value in social media literature, thus supporting hypothesis 1. However, these four dimensions play different roles in perceived value. Compared with other dimensions, ‘altruism’ appears to be more essential. This result can be explained by the usage of social media. Tourists tend to share their experiences, opinions, photos and videos about certain travel destinations in what is called ‘altruism dimensions’. These tourists’ behavior is not for the benefit of others but for self-satisfaction (Baym, 2010) and is believed to be the most important incentive for using social media. Concerning the inter-relationship of attitudes towards SMM, perceived value and the intention of using social media to organize a vacation, contrary to our hypothesis, tourists’ attitudes towards SMM activities conducted by travel agencies do not seem to affect their behavior intention of using social media to organize their vacation (.05). The perceived value of social media seems to play a significant mediating role between attitudes towards SMM and behavior intention. In other words, the indirect influence (.585) through perceived value is greater than the direct influence (.05) of attitudes toward SMM on behavior intention. This result implies that travel agency managers should know how to increase the perceived value of social media, instead of only attempting to enhance SMM activities. Limitations Social media’s commodification in Japan is still a new concept, and for Japanese tourists, the practice of social media in the tourist industry is relatively novel. In other words, social media’s commodification has not been developed enough in Japan. Thus, the results gained from the empirical study should be compared in the countries where social media is more developed.

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