Narrating travel experiences: the role of new media
A significant part of the travel experience is now being shaped by information obtained online in the form of new media, such as consumer-generated videos, reviews and blogs. Gretzel et al. (2006) argue that travellers use the Internet for a wide variety of tasks depending upon the stage of the trip (Figure 11.1). During the pre-trip phase, for example, travellers may use the Internet, and specifically consumer-generated media (CGM), to learn about potential travel destinations, create expectations, inform the purchase of airline or hotel reservations, and to dream about and anticipate upcoming vacations. Mobile computing applications supported through such technologies as laptop computers, netbooks and phones, on the other hand, shape en route touristic experiences as people use mobile technologies to address a variety of immediate travel tasks, such as finding a particular restaurant, taking photographs of places visited, or calling someone such as a friend or relative to tell him/her about a particular experience. Finally, the post-travel stage typically involves using technologies for the purpose of documentation, recollection, restructuring and sharing of real and imagined trip experiences (Gretzel et al. 2006).