Tourism on social media - The potential role of local media

You've probably noticed how social media has changed the way we travel. Forget old-school guidebooks and travel agents. Now, sites like Instagram and Facebook have the power, especially for younger travelers. Much like the digital star HugoDécrypte, who even big names can't ignore, these platforms are making a huge splash. Dive into this new world where sharing photos and stories is changing travel, one post at a time.According to Statista, about 60% of Gen-Z report using social media when traveling, while 36.5% across all travelers reported using social media when seeking travel inspiration. This change in traveler attitude has led to a revolution in travel brands’ marketing strategies. Airlines like Ryanair are using TikTok to showcase their routes, while hotels are partnering with influencers to reach new audiences. Social media has also made booking processes much easier. Travelers can easily research and book flights, accommodations, and activities all within a few clicks. This has made it easier for Gen-Zers to seek out genuine experiences and delve into local cultures, moving beyond the typical tourist spots. @ryanair The influence of social media on tourism extends beyond changing travel patterns. Travelers, especially Gen-Z, now prioritize genuine experiences while also seeking aesthetically pleasing locations for their social media profiles. Consequently, there has been a shift in destinations, with more travelers venturing off the beaten path in search of hidden gems.This does in no way mean that the local media is left out of the equation, as its role in leveraging local potential cannot be overstated. Local media play a crucial role in providing insider knowledge and insights into the local culture, food, and hidden spots that tourists might not be aware of. They can also act as a trusted source of guidance and advice for tourists who are looking to explore the local area. Collaboration between local media and tourism boards is essential to creating a more comprehensive, authentic, and enriching travel experience for tourists. Successful local media campaigns have already been implemented in many destinations. For example, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DDTCM) launched the #MyDubai campaign, which aimed to showcase the city's local culture and experiences through the eyes of its residents and local influencers. They collaborated with popular Instagrammers and bloggers who lived in Dubai, such as Mohamed Beiraghdary, Mohammed Kazim,  Khalid Al Ameri, or Mohammed Kazim, to share their personal stories, favorite spots, and unique experiences in the city. This campaign helped to portray Dubai beyond its famous landmarks, giving visitors a more authentic and immersive perspective of the city's lifestyle and attractions.In addition, social media platforms offer valuable analytics and reporting tools that allow local media to track the performance of their ads and make data-driven decisions about their marketing strategies. This means that the potential of social media platforms can be leveraged to create more effective marketing campaigns and drive more tourists to a destination.Looking to the future, social media is likely to continue to shape the way people plan and experience their travels. The rise of virtual and augmented reality technologies is set to transform the travel industry, with travelers being able to experience a destination before they even arrive. This could lead to even more personalized and tailored travel experiences, as well as a greater emphasis on sustainable tourism.Social media has had a significant impact on the way people travel, especially for Gen-Z. The role of local media in leveraging local potential cannot be understated. To remain relevant, local media should explore the potential of a destination and foster reader engagement to fulfill Gen-Z's desire of a more unique and authentic travel experience. By working together, local media and tourism boards can provide unique insights and perspectives on a destination, and help to shape the narrative around a location, encouraging more visitors to explore it in a meaningful way.