1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Tourism is essentially a service industry created to satisfy the need arising from movement of tourists within national or cross international boundaries.
Hunziker and Krapt (1941) defined tourism as “the sum of the phenomena and relationship arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, in so far as they do not lead to permanent residence and not connected with any earning”.
The tourism society of England (1976) also defined tourism as the temporary short-term movement of people to destination outside the place where they normally live and work and their activities during the stay at each destination it include movement for all purpose.
According to Hon Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, minister of tourism, Ghana, tourism is the fastest growing industry in the world today; there is no body that can doubt the power of tourism for generation of economic growth employment and alleviation of poverty especially in the urban areas and the preservation of the environment.
In Nigeria, tourism as an activity commenced since the pre-colonial era. The country has a vast landmass of 923,768 km2b and a diverse population of warm, hospitable people of over 120 Million.
Tourism and its development have moved on a fast track after years of neglect. This change has made it possible by the renowned interest of the private sector in pumping the much required funds into the lucrative yet lease explored sector of the Nigeria economy. Obadan (1982).
Tourism is a fragmented and geographically unique sector; embrace a passive set of business and personal relationship between firm and organization such as national and regional destination marketing organization, tourism office, hotel attraction, transport, tour travel agent and restaurant.
Social networking can be seen as the use of a dedicated web site to communicate informally with other members of the sites, by posting messages, photographs etc. Akehurst (2009).
Social networking site have taken tourism and travel booking experience to a new level not previously witnessed. For example, social networking site have allowed tourism to communicate with not only the tourism operator but also tourists who have recently experienced services from the operator whom they are considering booking travel with. This has allowed the tourist an opportunity to gather first – hand information. Tourism in the past has used many different intermediaries in the delivery of tourism product starting with travel agent. Akehurst, (2009).
Werthner and Rocci (2004) Ranked tourism as an industry that is at the forefront of internet and social communication in order to deliver an experience and make sales, the use of website has been found to be effective as people have access to them 24hours a day round the world.
Social media has made a huge impact on essentially every major industry across the world and the business of travel and hospitality has reaped the rewards perhaps as well as any other commercial venture. Boyd, (2007). Travel and tourism depends heavily on the use of word-of-mouth to spread opinions and recommendations, and social platform such as Twitter and Facebook.
According to Buhalis (1998), 92 percent of customers said that they trust earned media which includes recommendation from friends and family members, more than any other form of advertisement.
Moreover, a recent study showed that more than half (52 percent) of respondents changed their travel plans after researching their trip using social media. A heavy 82 percent of traveler’s use their smart phones whilst abroad, and 52 percent of Facebook users said that their friends holidays photos had inspired their vacation choice. Abreu,(2010).
Social media is affecting the travel and tourism industry in a very positive manner. Exquisite destinations are now made famous by friends and family, giving tourism agencies more clients owing to free advertisement of these unexplored destinations.
Nigeria is endowed with a number of tourism based and cultured tourism attractions which are characterized by fascinating scenic lands cape, wide variety of wild life on their natural habitats. But, these identified tourism attractions are not known by many tourists because of lack of effective information system for publicizing the scenery, wildlife and cultural attractions to visitors or tourist hence this research.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The use of electricity as also militate people to have access to social media, many people from rural areas do not have good electricity which can enable them to see different tourist attraction and book travel. In most cases, incorrect information are posted on the profile, marketing efforts will not be aimed at the right audience or tourism. Problem of network has been a major challenging to the use of social networking. Today’s network is more complex than ever before, the impact that the multitude of devices applications and performance can be startling increased congestion, slow application response time, the will prevent tourist to get quick decisions.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is impact of social networking on tourism development.
The specific objective includes:
i. Identify different social network work and it application in hospitality and tourism business.
ii. Determine the social economic impact of socio-networking application in hospitality and tourism business operation.
iii. Identify the challenges of social-network exploration in tourism and hospitality business development.
iv. To determine the most effective strategy for social networking application in hospitality & tourism industry.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. What are the different social networking systems in the tourism industry?
ii. What are the impact of socio-networking application in the hospitality industry?
iii. What are the challenges of social-networking application in hospitality and tourism industry?
iv. What are the most effective strategy for social networking application in hospitality and tourism industry?