The Role Of Social Media Marketing in Promoting Tourism in Pakistan
Tourism is growing fast worldwide because tourism plays a very important role in building a image of a country and also it contribute in the GDP of a country now days many countries is rallying on its tourism department for the growth of their foreign reserve account and they are succeeding in it too, countries like turkey, Mauritius, Britain and Australia deeply depends on its tourism department for their GDP growth in short we can say tourism is the main source of income now a days.
Pakistan has lots of scope in tourism we have everything that can attract a tourist to visit Pakistan, We have Places like Galiyat, Naran Valley, Kashmir, Muree in our northern area that can be the best tourist spots in summers for the people in the west. On the other side we have cultural heritage place too like Mohen Jo Daro, Ranikot and Etc that can also attract large number of people to visit these places, If tourist visit our country it will also help Pakistan to grow its GDP as most of the country solely depends on tourism for its GDP growth.
The information that is available on internet leads to a new era of tourism economy. Social media is one of the important networking tools that actually change the entire world; Social media is the tool that actually connects the people from one end to another end. Social media is the mean of communication where people create, share, exchange their views and content among themselves in a virtual community so a person sitting in another country can know what’s happening in other country, It include social websites the main commonly used website are face book, twitter , instagram and YouTube. Social website are growing faster and faster on daily basis it becoming the main news source the main stream media is going back and social websites like twitter and facebook taking their place.
The role of social media in tourism is increasing, most of the countries using social media platform to promote tourism in their country (Stephanie hays, 2011), we have a example of Mauritius, Thailand , Uae , Australia and others who use social websites to market their tourist spots. Back in 1999 Australian tourism industry was the single largest earner of foreign exchange currency (Department of Science and tourism industry, 2000) Australian Government is now also encouraging their tourism industry to use this platform for promoting tourism in country, Tourism industry share millions of dollars to their Gdp.
Most of the time people use social platform to know which place to visit during their vacation, they check the reviews and ongoing trend on social media and choose the place which attracts them, and in this case the one whose marketing strategy is effective on these platform can win those customers.
Importance of Tourism across the Globe
After the second world war tourism become one of the important factor and become the major trend for the future (Eadington& Redman, 1991) the rapid increase in tourism industry made the countries government to invest in this field (Kadt & Timothy, 1979, 1999), many developing countries in the Mediterranean basin for example Yugoslavia, turkey, Tunisia and Algeria, show that tourism playing a very important role in industrialization and economic growth (Allcock, 1986)
Tourism is one of the important sectors of any country now days that has an impact on its economy. Many countries also depending on its tourism department for creating jobs and generating income from this industry. The country that has the best infrastructure and proper marketing of those places that has tourist attraction are generating large amount of income from this industry. Tourism also plays a very important role in improving country soft image all over the world.
Tourism in Pakistan
Pakistan has great attraction for tourist in the form scenic beauty Pakistan has everything that can attract a tourist, Pakistan is the only country where u can find all type of weather during the whole 12 month of the year, this is the country what tourist like to visit during their summer time. Pakistan has everything from sun to sea from mountains to river everything that can attract people to visit Pakistan, but the International tourist arrival country is quite low as compare to the other countries the main issue that arrive in this country is the image of the country Pakistan has suffered a lot during a era of 2000’s due to the terrorism activity that happened in the Country. So people living abroad having a negative image regarding the country they are actually not fully aware about the beauty in Pakistan.
In the field of the travel industry, Pakistan offers numerous appeals in the creating scene. The chronicled and social legacy of the country shows a declaration for brilliance of this antiquated land, the nation acquires various vacation spots at Swat, Kalam, Malam Jaba, Shangla, Balakot, Ayubia, Murree, Chitral, Gilgit, Naran and Kaghan valleys (khalil, 2012) , it is said that Pakistan north side is actually the Switzerland of Asia. But Still the GDP growth through Tourism is low. If Pakistan actually work on its tourism to attract international tourist, Pakistan can grow its gdp and also increase its foreign exchange too because the study proves that increasing tourism in the country actually improve the economic stability of the country in the above document there are evidence how different countries improved their economic condition by encouraging foreign tourism in their country.
Tourism has its impact on job creation previous study above in this document have prove that if Pakistan focus on tourism industry it can also create more jobs for the people of Pakistan.
Importance of social media in tourism
Social media is actually the place where millions of people meet each other and share their story on social site like facebook, instagram, Twitter and others social media is actually becoming a place where a particular perception can be created regarding anything. So tourism developing can now be done thru social websites too and attract people.
Social media is one of the important tool now days every business now days running and relying on social media to do its marketing so as tourism. Most of the country is relying on social networking sites to do its marketing activity and they are attracting tourism through those channels.
Social media is actually a low cost marketing channel that’s why most of the country is preferring to use social sites to market tourism in their country because through social sites the cost of marketing is low as compare to electronic and other print media on the other hand the reach of social website is higher as compare to other means, millions of people can be reach with low cost. In 2010 there is a report that Britain cut 34 % of its funding to its tourism department in late 2010 that made them to cut 70 jobs and 14 of its overseas office (Johnson, 2011) after that Visit Britain moved towards technological marketing the chief Executive of Visit Britain said that they will use social platforms to market their key location and tourism spots and will maintain its global presence (Independent, 2010).
Most of the countries and their tourism department are moving towards social media for marketing purpose and to attract travelers to visit their tourist spots. They are developing strategies to attract them tourism department who lacks in developing strategies or have no social media presence at all are facing difficulties to attract people and the one who have social media presence they have a competitive advantage (Schegg, R., Liebrich, A., Scaglione, M. and Ahmad, S. , 2008)
Tourism Mauritius is actually using social media to improve tourism in their country, they actually made their official tourism site and gave information regarding the attraction a person get in Mauritius the website is with the name tourism Mauritius plus they are also active on facebook, they are actually using all means to attract people and promote their tourist spots .
Tourism industry is actually information oriented industry (Sheldon, Werthner, & Klein, 1997 , 1999) and now one of the important area to gather information is social media so that’s why tourism turkey department is mainly relying on its social media to give information to the people about the places and other services that has been provided by the tourism turkey department their main aim is educate the people about turkey and the places they have so tourist can have the much information regarding turkey before they are visiting it they also encouraging people to visit turkey through this mean (Xiang et al, 2008) , these change is not only adopted by the tourism official industry there but it is also adopted by the big chain restaurants and hotels there and provide every information regarding price and everything, so this technological shift also helping people to boost their business (buhalis& law, 2008)
Tourism Queensland an Australian tourism company also using social media for motivating purpose to attract people to visit Queensland, they have hired vlogers for the destination marketing purpose using YouTube to attract people to visit Australia (stephen hays, 2011)
Still most of the tourism industry who use social media for marketing purpose need to understand that how they need to use that for marketing purpose because there is still a lack of understanding of social platform and usage related to tourism (Xiang, Z. and Gretzel, 2010)
Social Media use for Tourism in Pakistan
YouTube is also gaining momentum in Pakistan many travel vloggers in Pakistan using that site to promote Pakistan without the help of the government and the tourism Department in Pakistan is not anywhere seen in the social media. This lack of space due to the negligence of tourism department actually costing Pakistan a lot Pakistan facing problem due to negativity spread all over the world Pakistan can better its image by using social media for tourism and gain its soft image all over the world because million of People use this site.
Social media use in tourism is important for the tourism industry of Pakistan because it’s a platform for showing place and the services that can be offered by the tourism industry, it is the easiest way to communicate with the millions of customers that are using social media from different part of the world it will help them to increase awareness about the places that are here in Pakistan and to show the beauty of Pakistan and create brand awareness made tourism industry of Pakistan a brand all over the world. In other words we can say social media is the best way to create awareness (Ma & gheseli, 2015)
Recommendation to Improve Tourism Marketing
Some of the important recommendations are
– During the survey it becomes crystal clear that most of the people use internet to gather information regarding the country they wanted to visit most of the people use YouTube and facebook to decide their next destination for their holiday I want to recommend the tourism department of Pakistan to use social networking site to attract travelers to pay a visit to Pakistan
– Tourism department should invite international social media influencers to Pakistan for example vloggers and bloggers so they share their experience on YouTube and facebook through their vlogs and blogs that can actually create a positive image of Pakistan in the eyes of west and help them to reduce their fears to pay a visit to Pakistan
– Government of Pakistan should make its own tourism information related website that should have all the information regarding the local prices of hotels, resorts, transportation and etc
– Tourism department should make its app on android and IOS regarding the public transportation information for example which are the available transport system how they can reach to their hotel from airport and from hotels how they can plan their tours all information should be provided
– PIA and tourism department should visit foreign universities do a seminar there showcase their beauty to the people and give instant deals to the travelers who wants to visit Pakistan all in one package with the airfare, tourism destination spots visits and etc, that actually attract people to pay a visit because people need easiness now days they don’t want to go to a country that they never visited and search there so a pre planned tour should be offered
– Pre planned tour packages should available on tourism department official website to people so they can book their tour from there, because according to the research most of the people seek information on internet when they total package deal is available for the people on internet it will be easy for them to choose the deal according to their budget, when u did not visited a country before you want to search things regarding all even prices sometime people are not sure regarding the prices they think how they going to find the hotels and where they stay how to get out from the airport and find their hotel in this it will help them to book a complete guided tour from tourism official website of Pakistan.