Martí-Franquès COFUND Fellowship Programme


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Legal and Social Sciences

Supervisor name and surname:

Ana B. Hernández Lara

Supervisor email:

Supervisor short biography

PhD programme:

Economics and Business

Title of the research project:

Female travelers in the age of social media

Description of the research project:

Historically, people tend to narrate their travel stories, and the emergence of social media has provided a new space for them to share their experiences for a wider range of their network (Sigala, 2016). People with different backgrounds reflect what they perceive from tourism destinations on their social media pages, and these contents affect themselves, their audiences, destinations, and tourism services (Lund, Cohen & Scarles, 2018; McWha, Frost, & Laing, 2018). As a prominent group of travelers and users of social media, women have some specific travel motivations, aims, and needs (Mirehie, Gibson, Khoo-Lattimore, & Prayag, 2018), and share specific aspects of their travel experiences on their social media pages.
Despite the growing influence of social media on all aspects of our life, tourism destinations, and tourism enterprises, the studies on its different dimensions and effects are insufficient yet. Through Netnography, big data, and in-depth interviews, the present research aims to contribute to the realm of female studies, social media, destination marketing, and service marketing. The following objectives represent how this research can advance to these fields of study.
1- Although some scholars (i.e. McWha et al., 2018) undertook primary researches showing the effects of audiences on those who share their travel experiences on social media, it still needs further studies. This study aims to show how women are influenced by their followers` feedbacks in the communicative space of social media.
2- The present research also tries to explore how female travelers influence their audience by the contents they share on their social media pages, and how these contents affect societies, travel styles, and tourism trends.
3- Since social media pages provides spaces of self-expression and personal branding for people, the present research aims to show how tourism enterprises and destination management organizations can marketing their services and destinations through the potential of these shared contents and photos by travelers in a nuanced and authentic way.
Lund, N. F., Cohen, S. A., & Scarles, C. (2018). The power of social media storytelling in destination branding. Journal of destination marketing & management, 8, 271-280.
McWha, M., Frost, W., & Laing, J. (2018). Travel writers and the nature of self: Essentialism, transformation and (online) construction. Annals of Tourism Research, 70, 14-24.
Mirehie, M., Gibson, H. J., Khoo-Lattimore, C., & Prayag, G. (2018). An exploratory study of hospitality needs and preferences of US Girlfriend Getaways. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 27(7), 811-832.
Sigala, M. (2016). Social media and the co-creation of tourism experiences. In The Handbook of Managing and Marketing Tourism Experiences (pp. 85-111). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Ethics: This project does not involve ethical aspects.

Workplace location: Campus Bellissens, Reus

Gross anual salary:

27103.20 €


Full time

Working hours:

37.5 hours a week

Expected start date:

15 March 2021

European union This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 945413