Effectiveness of Travel Social Media Influencers: A Case of Eco-Friendly Hotels

Payal S. Kapoor, M. S. Balaji, Yangyang Jiang, Charles Jebarajakirthy

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


With social media becoming the primary channel for travelers to acquire travel-related information, tourism service providers are increasingly partnering with social media influencers (SMIs) as part of their digital marketing strategy. The present study investigates the effectiveness of SMIs by examining the role that two message factors—argument quality and sponsorship status—have on travelers’ perceptions of a hotel’s commitment to sustainability and their intention to stay at the hotel. Results from four studies show that when eco-friendly hotels sponsor SMIs, an attribute-value message is more effective than a simple recommendation message in influencing travelers’ perceptions and intentions. Given the latest Federal Trade Commission regulations regarding sponsorship disclosure practices, the findings offer valuable insights for tourism providers using SMIs. The study findings suggest that SMIs should create sponsored messages that provide rational and objective information about the hotel’s sustainability practices to stimulate travelers’ related cognitions and persuade them to patronize the hotel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138-1155
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number5
Early online date24 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished Online - 24 Jun 2021


  • Instagram
  • argument quality
  • eco-friendly hotel
  • social media influencer
  • sponsorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Effectiveness of Travel Social Media Influencers: A Case of Eco-Friendly Hotels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this