Authors: Farzana Sharmin and Benqian Li
Social Media has provided a new practice in every corner of our life. The influence of social media in travel areas has been also increasing in Asia. There is an escalating tendency among consumers to utilize this opportunity. Besides this, social media also plays an important role in travel decision-making. To understand the travelers’ behavior from different cultures, a cross-cultural study conducted in China and Bangladesh. The aim of this paper is to explore the use of social media at different travel planning phase (pre-travel, during travel, and post-travel). The questionnaire survey conducted among 198 consumers who are settled in two cities, “Shanghai” (China) and Dhaka (Bangladesh). Based on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory this study confirmed that collectivist’s cultures have almost the same tendencies to use social media for travel purposes. However, survey results revealed that travelers from both countries prefer social media in three travel phases, but there are significant differences between social media consumption and content creation. It is most important that, although Bangladesh has listed as developing country the utilization of social media is almost same like as China. In this stage, this research is very much influential for the policy makers of Bangladesh Tourism Industry. In addition, public and private destination management organization (DMO) and policy makers could implement these findings for their future social media promotional strategies to expand online tourism services in both countries.
Keywords:Bangladesh, China, Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, promotional strategies, social media, travel behavior