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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference


Virtual Travel Communities fostering destination brand engagement of Women Travelers
(A2019-9926)

Published: May 28, 2019

AUTHORS

Gurpreet Kour, NMIMS

KEYWORDS

Virtual travel community ; Social Exchange Theory; Engagement

ABSTRACT

This paper is an attempt to understand how women travelers’ affiliation and engagement in virtual communities acts as a key influencer in the final destination choice. The theoretical underpinnings are derived from social exchange theory that describes the women’s engagement over social media for relevant content and reputation. In this study, blogs and online reviews of few online woman travel communities are analyzed using semantic network analysis and content analysis methods to generate insights on growing importance of VTCs and user generated content (UGC) for woman travelers’ destination choice. Existing women’s VTCs are fostering more credibility than traditional media, cultivating user generated content (UGC) based on recommendation from previous travel experiences, diffusion of eWOM through online discussion forums and continues to play important role in woman traveler’s destination choice.It can be seen that groups have opinion leaders that are normally experienced travelers that have greater effect on community for cuisine, security and accommodation related issues related to destination.