Profiling Italian street travel agencies based on their attitudes towards social media

Giacomo Del Chiappa, Marcello Atzeni, Jessica Mei Pung


User Generated Content (UGC) exerts a great influence on tourists’ choices, sometimes driving them to change the accommodation previously suggested by a street travel agency. In this context travel agencies need to proactively use both the Internet and UGC to build and maintain their competi-tive advantage. Despite this, there is no published paper profiling travel agencies based on how they use social media (SM). This study was therefore carried out to profile a sample of 281 Italian street travel agencies based on their perceived strategic value, perceived usefulness, emotional engagement, perceived ease of use, intention to use, satisfaction and intention to recommend SM use to others. Four segments were identified, namely: “Passive users”, “Enthusiasts”, “Strategically myopics” and “Active users”. Hence, chi square analysis was run to ascertain significant differences among clusters based on business-related variables. Findings show that significant differences among clus-ters exist only based on the frequency of SM use and the overall travel agencies’ attitude towards the importance of marketing and promotion tools for their competitiveness. Theoretical contributions and managerial implications are discussed, providing suggestions for further research.


social media; travel agencies; Italy

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