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Impact of Media on Tourism

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As opined by Cheng (2016), the tourism industry over the years had emerged as one of the most important industries of the world on the score of the economic contribution that it makes towards the national economies of diverse nations. For example, the net revenue generated by the concerned industry in the year 2016 was more than $7.6 trillion while registering a growth rate of more than 7% which is way higher than the other industries. Schweinsberg, Darcy and Cheng (2017) are of the viewpoint that one of the most important aspects of the tourism industry is the fact that it supports a plethora of other industries like hospitality, transportation, entertainment a1nd others and also the revenues earned by them as well. However, it is seen that the tourism industry over the years had undergone a significant amount of change and different kinds of new emerging trends are dominating the concerned industry presently. One of the most important emerging trends in this regard is the emergence of the genre of adventure tourism in contrast to the other popular forms of tourism like leisure tourism, medical tourism, cultural tourism and others which had dominated the tourism industry over the years. More importantly, the effective usage of different kinds of media platforms as well as advertisements or media campaigns for the promotion and the marketing of the same had contributed in a substantial manner towards the emergence and popularity of the concerned genre of tourism. The major problem arises because of the fact that the different kinds of media platforms just show the thrills or the positive aspects of adventure tourism while subtly covering up the risks which are involved in the same that can actually adversely affected the tourists. This paper will analyze the role of cotemporary media on adventure experience of the tourists in adventure tourism.

Mains, Cupples and Lukinbeal (2015) have articulated the viewpoint that the popularity which the adventure tourism had gained in the present times can be attributed to the inherent desire or the need of the individuals to indulge in different kinds of adventurous activities. More importantly, as opined by Doran (2016), the problem of over-tourism is another factor which has directly contributed towards the emergence of different kinds of adventurous sports and also this form of tourism as well. In addition to this, it is seen that the tourists during their vacations or holidays like to give up the routine or patterned lifestyle that they lead in their everyday life and also to break the monotony of their lives. This is perhaps one of the major reasons why the tourists during their travel vacations or holidays like to indulge in different kinds of adventurous sports or activities which are likely to enable them to release their pent-up energy. In this context, it needs to be said that the global adventure tourism sector is worth more than $89 billion and is expected to grow at an even faster rate. More importantly, the role that the social media and other kinds of media platforms have played towards the rise of these kinds of activities on the part of the tourists during their vacations or holidays can in no way be relegated to the background.

As per the “Adventure Tourism Market Study 2013”, more than 71.9% of the tourists before their vacations or tours like to search the internet to get an idea about the different kinds of adventurous activities that can indulge in the destinations that they are intending to visit. In contrast to this, there are less than 12% of the adventure seeking people does not indulge into such kinds of internet searches to find out the adventurous activities that they can undertake at the concerned locations. More importantly, another study reveals the fact that more than 68.1% of the tourists select the destinations that are going to visit on the basis of the internet or media searches that they made regarding the concerned destination and also the kind of adventurous sports options that it offers. In addition to this, it is seen that the marketing or promotional advertisements and campaigns used by the tourism agencies and also the tourism departments of the diverse nations. In this regard, the contributions made by the online media adventure tourism sources like National Geographic Traveler, Outside Magazine and others can in no way be relegated to the background. For example, it had seen that these media platforms had been greatly successful in creating an aura of glamour or amusement around the different kinds of adventurous activities that the tourists had the options to undertake during their travel vacations or holidays. More importantly, the reviews given by the other tourists and also the pictures or the images shared by them over the different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and others have significant contributed towards the creation of demand for the services offered by the adventure tourism industry.

Weiler and Black (2015) have articulated the viewpoint that one of the major problems arises because of the fact that the majority of the media advertisements or the campaigns used for the marketing or the promotion of the adventure tourism do not highlight the risks that the tourists are incurring by indulging in such activities. For example, it is seen that the majority of these advertisements or campaigns merely focus on the adventurous activities that the tourists can undertake or the thrill that can get by indulging in such kinds of activities. In this regard, it needs to be said that in the particular context of Canada it is seen that there are various kinds of hard adventurous sports activities like caving, paragliding, hiking, trekking, kite surfing and others which the tourists can undertake during their vacations. On the other hand, there are various kinds of soft adventurous activities as well that the tourists can indulge in like bird-watching, cycling, canoeing, horseback riding, surfing, sailing and others. Furthermore, it is seen that the different media platforms or sources actively promote these activities that the tourists can undertake during their vacations and even recommend the tourists to undertake these activities stating that indulging in them can be a life-changing experience for them. However, as the recent trends suggests that there are many tourists who have ended up incurring different kinds of accidents while undertaking these adventurous activities and in some of the severe cases the tourists have even lost their lives as well. For example, it is seen that more than 17.9% of the tourists who indulge in different kinds of adventurous activities during their travel end up incurring either a minor or a fatal accident. It is precisely here that the problem arises since the media platforms fail to depict this side of the story to the tourists who are very enthusiastic about undertaking different kinds of adventure activities.

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The role that the contemporary media plays within the framework of the adventure tourism industry becomes apparent not only from the fact that the different tourism agencies or the tourism departments of the diverse nations are increasingly use them but also from the fact that the tourists are getting influenced by them as well. For example, just like in the business world wherein the prospective customers become influenced by the reviews or the comments given by the existing customers about the product or service that they are about to purchase over social media or other media platforms, the same trend is being witnessed within the tourism industry. The net result of this is that the leading firms in the concerned industry are creating different fan pages and others over the social media platforms for advertisements the wonderful time that the tourists who had indulged in the adventure sports activities offered by them. More importantly, the prospective tourists end up spending more than three to four months prior to their intended vacations or holidays about the different tourist destinations which offer the best opportunities for indulging into diverse kinds of adventure activities over the various media sites. However, what these individuals fail to look up over these media sites or search about is the damage that these activities are likely to cause to health or well-being. Thus, it becomes all the more important for the travel agencies to clearly state the risks that are involved in such activities and also the individuals need to know precisely the thing that they are getting into by signing up for such adventurous tourism activities. This is important because of the fact that it is directly related to the experience that the tourists are likely to have during these adventure trips or vacations. For example, if the tourists incur any significant health or well-being issue because of the adventure activities that they undertake during the trips then it is likely that they would have a negative experience and it is probable they would not undertake such activities in future. This in turn is likely to adversely affect the prospects of the concerned industry itself by reducing the number of tourists or participants that they get. Thus, it can be said that the effective usage of media to convey important information like benefits, risks, safety or security concerns and others become all the more important for the concerned industry.

As opined by Chang et al. (2018), one of the most important reasons for this trend seen within the adventure tourism can be attributed to the fact that the concerned agencies and also the media platforms are taking the help of unethical marketing strategies rather than opting for the usage of the social and ethical marketing measures. In this regard, it needs to be said that the media outlets used by the tourism agencies and also the tourism departments of the different nations rather than focusing of the dangers that the diverse kinds of adventurous activities cause to their health or well-being simply state the thrill or the benefits that they are likely to get by indulging in such activities. Thus, it would be apt to say that there is a need for change not only in the manner in which the media is being used for marketing or promoting the adventure activities but also to cascade important information regarding the risks and health or well-being issues that such activities pose to the tourists. One of the most important measures in this regard as already mentioned is the full-fledged usage of the process of social and ethical marketing through which the concerned firms and also the tourism departments of the different nations would be able to convey the desired information to the tourists who are about to undertake such kind of activities.

Hickman et al. (2018) have articulated the viewpoint that one of the best possible manners in which the different media platforms can be used for enhancing the experience of the tourists who plan to participate in diverse kinds of adventure tourism activities is to educate them regarding the safety aspects that they need to take into account while undertaking such activities. For example, if the different firms and also the tourism departments of the different nations update the safety or security parameters that the tourists would be required to follow while undertaking adventure sports activities over the media platforms it is more likely that the prospective tourists would read them while undertaking research regarding the destinations that they want to visit. This in turn would not only educate them in an effective manner but at the same time would enable them to make better decisions regarding the choice of the destination and also the kind of adventure activities that they want to indulge in. More importantly, this is also likely to elevate the experience of the tourists who intend to participate in such activities by mitigating the risks or health or well-beings issues that they might face during such activities through spreading awareness.

An important measure that the tourism agencies which offer adventure sports facilities to the tourists during their vacations can use is to offer short safety or security courses over the online media platforms. In this regard, it needs to be mentioned that although the tourists before indulging in any adventure activities are being briefed about the things that they need or do and also the things that they should not do yet they often do not prove to be fruitful (Cheng et al., 2018). One of the probable reasons for this is the fact that the tourists are briefed only for a few moments and majority of the time it is seen that the instructors do not even bother to check whether the tourists have understood the instructions or not. This in turn had contributed in a significant manner towards the large number of accidents or hazards that the tourists had to face while undertaking such activities and thereby heightened security and safety concerns. However, if such information or education is being provided to the tourists prior to their actual trip or tour then the tourists would not only get adequate time to understand them but also practice them as well so as to avoid accidents during the trip. Thus, it is likely that in absence of any accidents or health issues the tourists would have a positive experience during such trips or tourism activities.

To conclude, different kinds of adventurous activities have gained a significant amount of prominence within the cannon of the contemporary tourism industry and are being used extensively to enhance the experience of the tourists during the vacations or the trips. More importantly, it is seen that the different media platforms play an integral role not only for the promotion of such activities to entice the tourists but at the same time to educate the tourists regarding the safety or security precautions that they need to take while indulging in such activities. However, it is seen that the majority of the marketing campaigns or the advertisements used by the different firms for the promotion of such activities merely focus on the thrill or the benefits that the tourists are likely to derive rather than highlighting the risks or the health concerns which are involved in the process. Thus, it can be said that there is a need on the part of the firms to use the concept of social and ethical marketing and taking the help of media not only highlight the risks which are involved in the process but at the same time educate them as well so that they can mitigate the associated risks.

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Impact of Media on Tourism. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-media-on-tourism/
“Impact of Media on Tourism.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-media-on-tourism/
Impact of Media on Tourism. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-media-on-tourism/> [Accessed 3 Feb. 2023].
Impact of Media on Tourism [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2023 Feb 3]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-media-on-tourism/
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