You will prepare and submit a term paper on Social Networking in Tourism Marketing. Your paper should be a minimum of 1500 words in length. Organizations today, in the modern real world are tending more towards the inclusion of online social media in their adapted marketing strategies. It is mostly due to the fact that online social networks reward individuals with an easy to build up relationships with other persons having a common interest in terms of preferences and perceptions. Moreover, the barriers in terms of age group, geographical dimensions, economic status, and other variables also have a negative impact while opting for social networking as a marketing tool. But in the case of online social networking, the barriers are nearly ineffective, which is indeed a great advantage for any company or organization using it as a means of communication with potential customers (Cerado, 2002).

The effect is also evident in the case of the tourism industry. The majority of the travel and tourism companies today are using social networking sites to promote their business. The tourism sector deals with a major challenge in terms of geographical limitations in order to attract tourists from the international ground and even set up corporate relationships with other supporting industries comprising mainly of the travel agencies and the hotels. To face these challenges the utilization of social networking again proves to be beneficial for the tourism groups (Middleton & Et. Al., 2009).

Presently there are numerous social networking sites used by different organizations to promote their business. Few of them are Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Youtube, Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, Orkut, and many others. But among them, the most targeted social sites are Facebook and Twitter. The impact of these social networks can be evidently witnessed all around the world.

This social site was created by Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes in the year 2004. Initially, the site was started to be used only by Harvard students. But after recognizing the actual potential of the site it was expanded for the inclusion of high school students, business groups, and other internet users by 2008. Presently the site is ranked as one of the most visited social network sites. During 2008, the company had a base of around 67 million active visitors all around the world. And in the current scenario, the site has more than 500 million regular visitors. This is indeed a remarkable achievement of the site. The basic features of Facebook similar to other social sites allow the users to enter their personal information along with e-mail, phone number, and physical address (Valenzuela & Et. Al., 2008).

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