Presenter Bios

Dan Plunkett is an Assistant Professor in the Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation Department at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. His research interests include social media’s influence on travelers and destination marketers, as well as the means by which visitors become attached to a destination.

Abstract

Research on the relationship between social media and tourism continues to grow. Whether it’s to understand how potential, current or recent visitors use social media to gather information, or how social media can influence motivations, intentions or behaviors, the importance of understanding how social media influences visitors is evident. One aspect of social media research that has been less common, but is becoming more frequent is the recruitment of study participants via social media. However, gathering meaningful data through this method can be difficult. This paper looks to expand the discussion on using social media to collect visitor data by examining how using the social networks of public figures could aid in the data collection process. As a part of a county parks visitor study, park user responses were solicited via a public official’s blog and Facebook page. Preliminary findings and potential implications are discussed.

Share

COinS
 

Utilizing the social media networks of public figures to gather visitor data: A conceptual idea and preliminary analysis

Research on the relationship between social media and tourism continues to grow. Whether it’s to understand how potential, current or recent visitors use social media to gather information, or how social media can influence motivations, intentions or behaviors, the importance of understanding how social media influences visitors is evident. One aspect of social media research that has been less common, but is becoming more frequent is the recruitment of study participants via social media. However, gathering meaningful data through this method can be difficult. This paper looks to expand the discussion on using social media to collect visitor data by examining how using the social networks of public figures could aid in the data collection process. As a part of a county parks visitor study, park user responses were solicited via a public official’s blog and Facebook page. Preliminary findings and potential implications are discussed.