The Impact of Social Influencers on Tourist Behaviour, Case Study Cameroon

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Impact of Social Influencers on Tourist Behaviour, Case Study Cameroon

Department: Tourism & Hospitality Management
No of Pages: 76
Project Code: THM1
References: Yes
Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian
        : $15 for International students


Tourism is a principal industry in the world today especially in the service sector at the global level as well as a major source of employment and a significant generator of foreign exchange at any national level. 

In the past years, social influencers have offered a significant amount of attention and attraction to the tourism industry, sourcing large crowds of tourists to many famous locations.

By so doing, the influencers have a way to influence the behavior of tourist in their country, therefore the research is out to investigate the influence of social media influencers on the behaviour of tourist using specific variables like SMI trustworthiness, likability and expertise and their effect on tourist behaviour.

 The study adopts a survey research design and a total of 50 respondents were selected for the study using purposive sampling technique. Questionnaire was used to collect primary data. Data collected was from primary and secondary sources. The statistical tool used in the research study was multiple regression analysis.

The findings reveal that mobile money technology along with stability in network and availability of float has a significant contribution on performance of MTN. 

The study recommends that MTN should sensitize the public on how mobile money technology operates and its usefulness rather than focusing on improving access to it. 


1.1 Background to Study

Tourism is a large industry in the service sector on a global scale, as well as a key source of employment and a substantial generator of foreign cash on a national scale. 

Tourism has emerged as one of the world's most important and fastest expanding sectors. Social influencers have provided a substantial amount of attention and attractiveness to the tourism industry in recent years, bringing enormous groups of travelers to several "Instagram-famous" destinations.

Social media influencers enable young people, in particular, to share the most significant moments from their journeys with a large audience, which serves as a kind of advertisement for the country's tourism spots. 

The tourism business is still thriving in the twenty-first century, accounting for 9.2 percent of global GDP and employing 235 million people (WTTC 2010). This suggests that tourism is one of the world's most important economic industries.

Tourism is highly interwoven and does not exist in isolation. Given the complexities of the tourism sector, it is critical to comprehend the system and structure of the industry, as well as the wants and behavior of tourists.

Tourism organizations should understand that this is a more effective means of attracting new tourists than traditional ads, and they should encourage individuals to share their real-life experiences online. 

The most important indicator or prediction of future tourist behavior is the behavior of tourists. Taking into account the tourist's social role, one tourist's behavior might also be an indicator of the behavior of others. 

Tourists set the societal norms of behavior in the tourism industry by their actions. Other customers, both those who do not engage in travel or tourism activities and those who do, follow these conventions. 2017 (Miller).

In social media, influencers are persons who have established a reputation for their knowledge and experience on a certain topic. They create enormous followings of enthusiastic, interested people who pay close attention to their opinions by making regular updates about that topic on their preferred social media channels.

What they post has a significant impact on tourists and their behavior. Burkard, who is known for being one of the earliest travel influencers on Instagram, is now one of hundreds who curate a stream of visual content showing adventurous destinations to visit across the world. In June 2019, John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" aired a program about the crowds on Everest during the climbing season in May 2019. (Pennolino, 2019). 

Inexperienced climbers were permitted to get up the peak and photograph their Instagram-worthy accomplishment, according to Oliver. This contributed to increased crowds and fatalities.

Instagram influencers are one phenomenon that has contributed to the rise of tourist icons. As stated in this thesis, an influencer is someone who makes a living on social media by developing their own brand with a large following (Barton, 2018). A follower is a member of an influencer's audience who opts to subscribe to the influencer's material and becomes part of a digital community of other followers and brands who engage with the influencer's content (ibid.).

Influencers utilize Instagram to acquire a huge following and use their Instagram content feed as a curated, personalised marketing channel (Barton, 2018; Hennessy, 2018). Influencers are more powerful than superstars because they are seen as more trustworthy, as if they were a friend or family member (Djafarova & Rushworth, 2010), 2017).

A well-structured tourism sector in a country, in general, would go a long way toward ensuring hope for future generations, economic progress, stability, and a well-functioning national economy. Protecting the lives of today's animals and plants means ensuring the existence of future generations.

A well-run tourism industry helps to strengthen the country's economy, create jobs, educate and enlighten people about their environment, and raise living standards. Tourism is not only a domestic product; it is also an export product, selling the country's image to the rest of the world in a positive light.

Under the tremendous influence of social media, tourists organize their journeys accordingly. The active use of social media during travel in terms of sharing stories, images, and videos motivates other potential tourists to travel to exotic locations.

People still use internet browsers like "Internet Explorer" and "Google Chrome," among others, to search for and plan their vacations, but the rise of social media has made the process more interactive. This digital transition makes content more accessible and allows users to develop and share it (i.e., user-generated content). 

According to certain studies, social media influencers have a significant impact on millennials' behavioral intentions, as evidenced by the case of rural tourism in Greece.This is wherefore millennials can be denoted to as the Internet generation (Barton, 2018)

Many individuals and even countries in the first and second world view African countries, including Cameroon, as impoverished and with little to offer in terms of tourism, but Cameroon is much more than that. Cameroon offers various tourist attractions, including beaches, museums, parks, lakes, and palaces, and who better to market these attractions than the country's natives.

Cameroon's tourism business is developing yet still small. Cameroon's government has nurtured the business since the 1970s, forming a tourism ministry and encouraging airlines, hotels, and travel firms to invest. The government touts the country's diversity of climate, culture, and geography as "Africa in small." Cameroon's wildlife attracts both safari-goers and big-game hunters, with cheetahs, chimps, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, hippopotami, and rhinoceroses among the country's most famous residents.

The sector has been small since its inception, but it has grown fast over time as the government has increased its efforts to ensure the sector's growth. Cameroon receives roughly 1 million tourists each year, generating $682 million in revenue.

However, the tourism industry has had an impact on the lives of most Cameroonians, both entrepreneurs and workers from various backgrounds. Cameroon has a variety of tourism options that draw visitors from all over the world. 

The most prevalent sorts of tourism that people come to the country for are cultural and wildlife tourism. Other types of tourism, such as mountain tourism, sports tourism, and beach tourism, do exist, though (Tourism teacher 2014.) "Africa as a whole in one country." This is a common slogan used to characterize Cameroon because the country possesses an abundance of everything that can be found in Africa.

Because Cameroon has so many different sorts of tourism and touristic locations to visit, tourism becomes very attractive. Cameroon's government portrays the country as "Africa in miniature," claiming that it contains all of Africa's diversity in terms of climate, culture, and geography. "Africa in microcosm" and "the melting pot of Africa" are two other tourist cliches that are occasionally utilized.

The coast, the major towns, the Western highlands, and the north are the four main tourist sites in Cameroon. Cameroon's government portrays the country as "Africa in miniature," claiming that it contains all of Africa's diversity in terms of climate, culture, and geography. "Africa in microcosm" and "the melting pot of Africa" are two other tourist cliches that are occasionally utilized.

The coast, the major towns, the Western highlands, and the north are the four main tourist sites in Cameroon. Limbe, an English-speaking town with black volcanic sand, and Kribi, a French-speaking city with white-sand beaches, are the two major beach tourist towns along the coast. The highest mountain in Central and West Africa, Mount Cameroon, is located on the coast and attracts hikers and climbers.

The city of Buea is the starting location for climbing Mt. Cameroon, where guides and equipment can be rented. Hikers can sleep in one of several tin-roofed cabins along the way up the mountain. Poor transportation infrastructure and crooked officials who may harass guests for bribes are obstacles to the tourism sector's continued expansion.

According to the ministry of tourism, Cameroon has 107 touristic sites, with the top five being Waza and Takamanda National Park, Mount Cameroon, Lake Nyos, and the Foumban Palace. Limbe is Cameroon's most beautiful tourist destination and cleanest city (Statistics from the ministry of tourism). In 2016, the industry brought in 508 million dollars, an increase of 6.89 percent, and in 2018, it brought in about 700 million dollars.

Cameroon received around 994,000 international tourists in 2016. In 2017, the number of international tourists reached 1,000,000, up from 176,000 in 2005. These figures and improvements have helped to provide work for many Cameroonians while also boosting the country's economy (Index mundi 2019, Macro trends 2021.)

1.2 Problem Statement

The increasing business and reward of tourism in recent decades at the regional, national, and international levels, as well as the growth of tourism agencies in Cameroon, has resulted in increased competition among various countries, which is no longer limited to the regional or national level but has evolved into an international competition.

As the country's tourism industry grows, more tourists arrive with a variety of behaviors. This diversity of visitor behavior in its various stages or phases challenges techniques to observation, but it also underlines the relevance of tourist activity monitoring for the provider or destination.

Knowing how tourists behave is important for evaluating the work of planners and providers of tourist services in the past, as well as planning and implementing tourism services in the future. Tourist behavior is also a critical aspect in the effective development of tourism services; as a result, a thorough grasp and knowledge of tourist behavior is a must for tourism development.

As a result, the researcher set out to determine whether social influence tourist behavior in Cameroon, as well as what factors influence tourist behavior, attitudes, and motives. All of these questions were answered by the researcher during the research investigation.

1.3 Research Questions

In relation to the problem statement above, this research seeks to answer the following questions

Main Research question:

How do social media influencers affect the tourist behavior in Cameroon?

Specific Research Questions;

  1. What influence does social media influencers trustworthiness have on tourist behavior in Cameroon?
  2. Does social media influencers likability have any impact on tourist behavior in Cameroon?
  3. Is there any role social media influencers expertise play on tourist behavior in Cameroon?