Here we go again.

“Results showed that Information Acquisition – obtaining up-to date information – was found to be the most influential factor for users of tourist social networks, followed by Social-Psychological factors such as seeking identity, forming relationships and seeking a sense of belonging, and Hedonic benefits including having fun with content, entertainment and being amused.”

Hmmm. So travellers claim to use the internet primarily for finding information.

I’m not sure 417 South Koreans filling out an online survey qualifies as research worthy of appearing in an academic journal – in this case the Information Technology & Tourism Journal. But then again, maybe I’m being elitist as I’ve spent some of my spare time over the past couple of weeks trying to understand the early physics papers written by Albert Einstein in his miracle year of 1905. Today’s featured research may not be Brownian motion, special relativity, the photoelectric effect or mass energy equivalence,  but are Dimitrios Buhalis and Jin Young Chung actually contributing something of value to the industry? At least some of Einstein’s focus on theoretical physics research still ended up having applicability for industry in his day.

And I don’t mean to pick on extrapolating results from using South Koreans as guinea pigs, but if I had to choose some recent academic research from that country which might have stronger foundations for use by the travel industry, it would probably be the work from  Raghuram Iyengar, Sangman Han, and Sunil Gupta finding that “highly connected users tend to reduce their purchases of items when they see their friends buying them.” Now that might be very interesting food for thought for someone looking at monetizing a travel social network.

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