Group trip planning and information seeking behaviours by mobile social media users: A study of tourists in Australia, Bangladesh and China
Journal of Information Science
School of Business and Law / Markets and Services Research Centre (MASRC)
Social media plays an increasingly important role in travel information seeking and decision-making. However, there is limited understanding of how a group of tourists use social media to plan trips collaboratively and the different practices between countries. In this study, we investigated the collaborative information seeking (CIS) and sharing behaviours of mobile social media users from Australia, Bangladesh and China. Specifically, we surveyed a total of 219 participants to explore the differences in CIS behaviours when people were planning a group trip. The findings suggest significant differences among three countries in terms of the motivations of using social media, CIS activities and social interactions outside the group. Key findings include Bangladeshi and Chinese travellers preferred known contacts on social media, while Australian tourists intended to use both known contacts and user-generated contents for seeking information. The findings also show that social interactions employed by individuals are considered as an important complement of and are interwoven with in-group CIS; both contribute to tourism information seeking. Finally, we propose a framework for CIS research in the tourism domain.