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Abstract

YouTube started as a social media tool, but is now evolving into a marketing communications tool. The aim of this paper is to investigate the use of YouTube as a tourism-marketing tool from the viewpoint of tourism organizations and tourists. Developing its theoretical base from the perspective on how tourists recognize images, a review of 320 European tourism videos on YouTube concluded that many organizations failed to understand that media produced for traditional marketing outlets (TV, cinema) cannot be transferred directly to YouTube. The study also highlighted the growing power of the individual consumer in tourism marketing, as reflected in the dominance of tourism videos produced by real tourists rather than by official tourism organizations. The study concluded that while YouTube was useful as a promotional/ communications tool, more research is required to understand how the YouTube generation filter, select and use tourism information in their trip planning.

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The Use of YouTube as a Tourism Marketing Tool

YouTube started as a social media tool, but is now evolving into a marketing communications tool. The aim of this paper is to investigate the use of YouTube as a tourism-marketing tool from the viewpoint of tourism organizations and tourists. Developing its theoretical base from the perspective on how tourists recognize images, a review of 320 European tourism videos on YouTube concluded that many organizations failed to understand that media produced for traditional marketing outlets (TV, cinema) cannot be transferred directly to YouTube. The study also highlighted the growing power of the individual consumer in tourism marketing, as reflected in the dominance of tourism videos produced by real tourists rather than by official tourism organizations. The study concluded that while YouTube was useful as a promotional/ communications tool, more research is required to understand how the YouTube generation filter, select and use tourism information in their trip planning.