Refereed academic paper for presentation
Social media has become a powerful influencer in its ability to sway customer intentions and behaviors in an online setting. Given the importance of social media and its users in acting as information spreaders and disseminators, particularly in the context of global tourism, the goal of this research is to profile and/or understand youth travellers within the context of their social media behaviour. Using latent class analysis which helps to identify unobserved subgroups within a population, this study utilizes the rich dataset offered by Destination Canada which gives valuable traveler-focused information across the globe, including Brazil, China, Australia, Germany, South Korea, United Kingdom, and more. The results of this quantitative analysis reveal important differences based on age, explorer types and lifestyles, and geographic location as it relates to Canadian travel behaviors. By understanding what motivates these millennial-aged travelers particularly, destinations can create an environment where their actions are better anticipated and encouraged. The contribution of this original research is an empirically-informed view of how travelers share their experiences via social media.