The negative impact of social networks on tourism
Social networks are now part of every stage of a vacation. According to a study carried out by Next Content for Expedia in 2018 of 1,480 regular French travelers, social networks are used to choose a destination, to choose activities on site or accommodation, to access feedback and tips, to communicate and post souvenir photos to the network. Indeed, 23% of connected travelers admit that they have been influenced by what they read on social networks. However some social networks, such as Instagram in particular, are increasingly being blamed for their negative impact on the environment and local life.
It is on Instagram that user will find out the most about what there is to do, the must-see places to visit, restaurants, accommodation, etc. Instagram will therefore help to organize a trip before leaving. Furthermore, this network will allow travelers to share their holiday memories, such as a digital photo album, to make other users dream and to help them discover new destinations. According to a study conducted by the One Poll research institute on behalf of Edreams Odigeo and unveiled in April 2019, 42% of French travelers book their stay taking into account the “instagrammable” potential of the destination.
Near the city of Novosibirsk, a Russian “lake” that is nicknamed “the Maldives in Siberia” attracts many holiday makers but is in fact the property of a coal-fired power plant. The ashes of the material are then discharged, and if the water has this surreal colour, it is because of the presence of metal oxide and calcium salts. Tourists who think they’re bathing in sublime, transparent turquoise water are in fact literally bathing in an industrial waste dump.
Another example, the heavy traffic in the village of Oia in Santorini, Greece, which affects the island’s drinking water supply and making and renders it unfit for consumption.
A futher victim of this influence of networks on tourism is what could be called “ego-tourism”. Travelling to prioritize photos, for example, in order to show others that “we were there”. Some people are ready to do anything to feed their Instagram thread with perfect pictures, a case in point being a Saudi tourist who recently drowned in the Nile while trying to take a selfie
Social networks aren’t the only ones responsible, the film “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio caused a large influx of tourists to Thailand, whose degraded and polluted beach is now closed to the public until 2021.
But Nowadays, being environmentally consciousness, people want to travel and not harm the environment. This is eco-traveler or eco-tourisme. Eco-tourism was defined in 1992 by the International Ecotourism Society as “a form of responsible travel to natural areas that contributes to the protection of the environment and the well-being of local people”
61% of French travelers would like to visit holiday destinations with a lower ecological impact. This is what an Amadeus study says, entitled “Digital Footprints: Discovering online traveler needs in France’’. In order to travel more ecologically, 34% of French people say they are willing to pay more and change their mode of transport. 42%, to extend the travel time or to choose another destination recommended by the website or the travel agency.
There is also a another kind of tourism : collaborative tourism. It is based on rediscovering authenticity and values by meeting people and exchanging services.