ABSTRACT

Socialisation is often considered by ecotourists as an important element of their experiential activity during their trips to nature-based settings. Aside from nature seeking (driven by environmental values) and learning (through interpretation of environmental aspects), socialisation that entails knowledge sharing (through social interactions) has been found to be enhancing the levels of gratification for ecotourists during ecotours, and it has therefore, become a major trip motivator for them. Given the imperativeness of socialisation as a major experiential attribute of ecotourists, there is also an impending need for understanding post-trip socialising, which unseals the opportunity to explore the role of online/social media-enabled social interactions. This chapter, firstly, furnishes a conceptually elucidative overview of socialisation in ecotourists’ experiences, something to which past literature has only provided indistinctive attention. Secondly, the role social media enabled online interactions play in aiding this process of socialisation among ecotourists given its need during post-trips, is being explored. Finally, this chapter also explores the wider theoretical implications of online/social-media-enabled socialisation among ecotourists, with specific reference to ecological citizenship behaviour. Finally, this chapter throws some light on the likely way forward for both research and practice, with relation to online and face-to-face socialisation among ecotourists.