Instafamous: Social Media Influencers and Australian Beaches
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While young tourists use various sources of information when planning travel, they place greater trust in user-generated content than in information from travel service providers. The tourist photograph has long been used as evidence of travel to distant or exotic places and to inspire others’ travel choices. However, social media such as Instagram has amplified the connection between tourism and photography, with young travellers seeking out destinations depicted in their social networks. A content analysis of Instagram images of Australian beaches and their hashtags reveals a closed circle of representation where tourist images are driving beach vacation decisions with implications for not just tourism marketing, but also coastal environment and infrastructure management.
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