Abstract: The irreversible change that social media development brought to a great many professions has had the strongest impact on tourism-related jobs. The new digital world has changed the speed of message transmission and transformed expectations into sharing, users into people sharing the same views, and news into reliable information whose credibility is potentially subject to immediate verification. The previous anonymous customers saw the ‘open door’ of 24/24 communications and their status has changed from target audiences into faithful fans of products and services that they can advertise, and also compromise themselves. In the tourist industry, owing to online bookings, sharing sites and the power of blogs, the opportunity to choose a trip, a vacation or a hotel has become a personal decision that one makes after having seen, shared, and understood. Communications via the Internet have facilitated the dialogue with consumers in the field of tourism and turned knowledge, education, and experience through travelling into entertainment. On the one hand, the use of social and online media has made sharing, content generation and quick consumer feedback easier in online PR. On the other hand, the dialogue in the digital era requires a quicker professional response (activity skills, adaptation, listening, correction, transparency…), but also a sustained commitment through the social media. The social media have changed the ideas and the speed with which PR and advertising use communication policy on the Internet. Online PR speeds up information, dialogue, and customer feedback, especially in tourism and business travel. It also opens new opportunities for message recognizability and attractiveness in the MICE industry.
Keywords: tourism, online PR, social media, communications, information.
Rhetoric and Communications E-journal, Issue 7, January 2013, http://rhetoric.bg/, ISSN 1314-4464