What Social Media Tell us About the Heritage Experience

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What Social Media Tell us About the Heritage Experience

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Title: What Social Media Tell us About the Heritage Experience
Author: Munar, Ana María
Abstract: Tourists have happily embraced the possibilities of interactivity and publication provided by social media and Web 2.0. The last decade has seen a massive increase of digital content generated by tourists online. This paper examines the digitalization of tourists’ heritage experience, analyses the impact of social media and user generated content in the consumption of heritage sites, and discusses new forms of technologically mediated authenticity in tourism. Netnography and a constructive approach have been adopted for the examination of online communities and social networks. There are different types of tourist generated content online. This study focuses on the review genre and examines a purposive sample of data collected from Tripadvisor which, with over 30 million contributions, is the largest online community focusing on tourism and travel. Through a systematic analysis of tourists’ narratives and socio-technical structures, this study assesses how technologies influence tourists’ heritage experience. The research findings provide insights into the role that tourists’ online reviews play as mediators of the tourism experience and illustrate the features of an emerging virtual tourism culture.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8439
Date: 2012-04-17

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