Social Media in Tourism and Hospitality: A Literature Review

Yiu Chung Leung, Chun Hung Roberts Law, Hubert van Hoof, Dimitrios Buhalis

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

676 Citations (Scopus)


Being one of the "mega trends" that has significantly impacted the tourism system, the role and use of social media in travelers' decision making and in tourism operations and management have been widely discussed in tourism and hospitality research. This study reviews and analyzes all extant social media-related research articles published in academic journals during 2007 to 2011, mainly in tourism and hospitality fields. Based on a content analysis on the analyzed articles from both the consumers' and the suppliers' perspectives, this article found that consumer-centric studies generally focused on the use and impact of social media in the research phase of the travelers' travel planning process. Supplier-related studies have concentrated closely on promotion, management, and research functions, but few discussed product distribution. Research findings thoroughly demonstrate the strategic importance of social media for tourism competitiveness. This study also contributes to the academia and industry by identifying some research voids in extant research and providing an agenda for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Travel and Tourism Marketing
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • consumers
  • hospitality research
  • journal review
  • Social media
  • suppliers
  • tourism research
  • Web 2.0

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing

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