Narrating travel experiences: The role of new media
The recounting of lived experiences is a central component of the tourism consumption process. However, reaching a wider audience with one‟s travel tales has traditionally been restricted to privileged narrators who had access to official publishing channels. Consumer-generated media (CGM) allow for the distribution of travel narratives to a broad online audience. This chapter presents a study that investigates how widespread the use and creation of travel narratives published in the form of CGM are among online travelers in the United States. The findings indicate that about half of the online travelers use travel CGM created by others. In contrast, travel CGM are created by a small portion of online travelers who are more experienced and more involved travel planners than non-content creators. The results of this study clearly document the growing importance of CGM within the travel industry and offer substantial implications for tourism experience-related research and the marketing of tourism destinations.