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[JSR] How Does Social Media Affect Travel?

September has begun and many have already gone on summer vacation. To many people, the idea of travel and vacation is equivalent to relaxation and entertainment. However, to others, the act of preserving the sights that they had seen and the foods that they have eaten into pictures are just as important. Travel pictures are lasting souvenirs of the events that occurred during one’s travel and jog the memories of the trip for years after.

In present days, social media is filled with pictures of trips to the beautiful city of Florence and the blinding river of the Grand Canyon. These pictures can illustrate the beauty of the place, but they cannot do justice to the landscape that can only be seen when people are actually there. For instance, the term travelgram is used to describe instagram accounts that are committed to sharing photos that are taken during one’s travel and captions that express their opinions about the travel.

As a result, social media is revolutionizing the travel industry. Researchers claim that people are more attracted to travel photos on social media than the travel brochures because they seem more credible due to personal experience. Following the social trend, travel agencies have started to use social media as a marketing tool. Social media then, is an effective marketing tool because it allows travel agencies to communicate with a larger audience.

Additionally, social media has induced the improvements of other aspects of travel, specifically customer service. Because communication is fast through social media, posts about positive and negative customer service experiences in hotels, restaurants, and airports can be spread rapidly through social media.

Social media’s influence on the way people travel cannot be ignored. Naomi Yang, a sophomore at Cresskill High School, responded, “Social media changes how my family and I travel. I take inspiration from the pictures that people post and when I travel, I upload photos that show the places I’ve been and what I experience.”

There are small downsides to social media’s effect on travel. Travel picture sharing has resulted in a dramatic increase in overcrowding in popular destinations. Overcrowding, not only affects travelers, but the local residents who live there. This may also affect the tourism experience for future travelers and ruin the beauty of the natural environment. Therefore, the growth of tourism is at the cost of local residents’ unhappiness and earth’s health.


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