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Measuring the impact of social media influencers’ credibility (attractiveness, trustworthiness and expertise) and similarity on consumers’ behavioral intentions towards vacation planning

Author: 
Dr. Eiman Medhat Negm and Ms. Dina Moataz El Halawany
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

The tourism industry is one of the major economic facets in any country and during the COVID-19 significant declines in business occurred (Folinas and Metaxas, 2020). Rebelo (2017) explained that social media influencers are vital tool for marketing and promotion to bring business sensations. Thus, this research aims to understand what makes social media influencers’ impactful on consumers’ behavioral intentions towards vacation planning. After review of the literature, the researcher hypothesized that (H1) Attractiveness, (H2) trustworthiness, (H3) expertise, and (H4) similarity impacts behavioral intention towards vacation planning. This study was a descriptive research, seeking to describe and understand the phenomenon and its characteristics. Distribution of online questionnaires was used to collect the needed data. The sampling method used was non-probability sampling, specifically convenience. Data was gathered only once (cross sectional); over a time frame of two months as a means to answer research questions (March and April 2020). Youth and young adults filled out the questionnaire. Once the needed data was collected, the researcher used the SPSS program to conduct the analyses. The analysis showed that there is a relationship between social media influencers’ attractiveness, trustworthiness, and similarity on consumers’ behavioral intention towards vacation planning; There is no relationship between social media influencers’ expertise and consumers’ behavioral intention towards vacation planning. This study contributes academically and practically by illustrating empirical evidence that adds on to the gaps found in the literature. It also shows practitioner the characteristics of a person that makes a significant social media influencer that can help the tourism industry boom again post the Covid-19 period.

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