Document Type



Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research

Publication Date



Social and Behavioral Sciences


News, real or not, travels faster than ever with the rise of social media platforms. Nearly everyone, everywhere, is capable of generating and disseminating information to large volumes of potential consumers. This information is often out of the direct control of the destination, business, or other entity for whom the news relates; it is unowned media. When a destination receives a flurry of attention from these various sources, either good or bad, several important questions arise in attempting to understand their impacts: (1) how long do these impressions last in potential visitor’s minds? And, (2) do these events/images influence travel planning?

The overall purpose of this study is to build a better understanding of the degree to which unowned media, particularly social media, influences traveler behavior and perceptions of Montana, whether positive or negative. A secondary purpose is to provide specificity to the level and type of social media use that some visitors to Montana engage in (i.e., what platforms are they on, how does this vary by age, how often do they use specific platforms, etc.).


social media


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