The Impact of Social Media Marketing on Tourism

Introduction

Lebanon’s area is ranked 170th on the planet (CIA, 2014). It is smaller than how big Connecticut, one of the smallest states in in America. Moreover, Lebanon is one of the few democratic countries in the Middle East region. Regarding its economy, Lebanon is really a free market economy and includes a extended tradition of laissez-faire economics. Along with its coastal location on the Eastern Mediterranean coast, Lebanon is considered since the central’window’of the Middle East to Europe, North Africa, and the rest of the world. Due to this, its economy has gone through some very prosperous times and was even once called the’Paris’of the Middle East prior to the nation’s 15 year-long bloody civil war which ended in 1990.

Also, although Lebanon is tiny, it can also be one of the very diverse nations in the world. Christians, Muslims, Druze, and other minority sects are spread all over the small nation and even Lebanon’s political system is based on sectarian power sharing.

However, this diversity had played a pivotal role in the nation’s problems. This diversity was a necessary condition of the country’s sectarian civil war and currently plays an essential role in its political paralysis, although other factors (mainly foreign) are to blame as well. There is currently no acting President and the country’s rival political parties keep bickering and preventing as opposed to facilitating the country’s development.

Furthermore, Lebanon’s proximity to Israel has caused it to be a foreign policy/proxy battleground for foreign nations, each using Lebanon for its own selfish ends.

The sad political realities of the nation have significantly hurt the country’s economy. Also, since Lebanon is really a service-based economy, this specific sector has taken the greatest hit.

Tourism plays a significant role in the nation’s economy. In line with the Lebanese Ministry of Economy & Trade (MOET), “Tourism has always been one of Lebanon’s leading economic sectors” (Economic Research Unit, 2010).

Furthermore, The World Travel & Tourism Council estimated that the travel & tourism sector in Lebanon contributed over $4 billion dollars in 2013 (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2014).

The travel & tourism sector constructed about 10% of the economy in 2012 but that share dropped to 9% in 2013 (ibid, p. 14). smm panel This is as a result of political situation in the united kingdom in addition to several other factors. Moreover, the amount of tourist arrivals in the united kingdom kept decreasing from 2011 to 2013.

Considering that the tourism industry has been somewhat floundering in recent years, the room for error becomes very small for businesses in this industry. The political & economic situations are squeezing tourist-related (TR) businesses in Lebanon. This means that these businesses are forced to complete more to replace with increasing losses (or decreasing profits) and with fewer resources. There is no telling once the political & economic situation in Lebanon will improve especially considering that the civil war in neighboring Syria shows no signs of abating.

There are lots of methods Lebanese TR businesses can adapt during this period such as for example implementing downsizing policies and cutting back on marketing & advertising budgets. When economic recessions and tough times affect businesses, the first things to get eliminated are usually marketing budgets. But especially since TR businesses have to do more marketing to replace with lost businesses, this may not be a great idea.

One solution to this issue would be to take advantage of Social Media Marketing strategies since they cost little to no resources, perfect for the existing economic situation in Lebanon. Social media marketing allows TR businesses to overcome obstacles of limited budgets and decreased business.

Problem Statement

During recent years, the positive aftereffect of social media marketing on business has been extremely high (Kaplan et al., 2010; Stelzner, 2010; Treem & Leonardi, 2012, p. 143; Baker & Green, 2014).

Moreover, Facebook and Twitter fans of a certain brand are much prone to recommend and buy from these brands than non-fans (Cruz & Mendelsohn, 2011). But, we don’t need to ensure of social media’s impact on business through research studies. For social media marketing users, including over 30% of the entire world, this fact is known. More and more businesses are inserting Social Media marketing tools into their marketing strategies and, in some instances, have even become a built-in part of these overall business strategy.

Naturally, one would expect that Lebanese businesses would quickly adopt Social Media Marketing as an integral role inside their overall marketing strategies but this is simply not the case. In regards to the Middle East and especially Lebanon, the region is far behind the West in social media marketing usage. Not just that, when it comes to businesses active in the tourism industry, there’s much room for growth. Little investment in technology is keeping tourist businesses from maximizing marketing opportunities distributed by social media.

The Lebanese tourism industry isn’t taking advantage of social media marketing tactics even although the advantages of accomplishing so might be apparent. This presents a good problem especially considering that the economy is going through a very rough time.

Moreover, Lebanese TR businesses and businesses in Lebanon in general aren’t adopting social media marketing tools while they should. This presents an enormous problem in the waste of resources in addition to significant missed opportunities as a more substantial target market could be reached via social media marketing enabling businesses that adopt social media marketing tools gain a better possibility of success and prosperity.

Purpose of the study

The fruits and features of social media marketing tools might take significant time to come about in Lebanon if we are ignorant of the factors which have generated the prevention of widespread social media marketing adoption.

Also, as long as no study switches into the matter of effectively implementing a cultural media marketing campaign in the Lebanese context, many TR businesses may be lost even when they choose to adopt social media marketing tools.

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