The large expansion of internet popularity affected, tough in different degrees, almost all sectors of life. Tourism makes no exception, the travel agencies being nowadays confronted with the necessity of keeping the pace with the new technology. Airline companies - and the transport companies in general, oriented by these changes, created online divisions specialized in direct sales towards the final consumer. Thus, many traditional travel agencies were determined to move their activities in the virtual space, partially or totally. Abundant online information communicated by tourism agencies or simple people sharing their experiences about tourism destinations all over the world made changes in consumer behaviour. Many reviews are objective, but in the same time many are written in order to denigrate the competition and others are written by special people hired especially for promoting some resorts or hotels on travel blogs. A great number of companies from various sectors of economy prefer this type of advertising because it is very efficient and involves less financial resources than other forms of promotion. In tourism sector as well, managers often hire specialized personnel, recognized and credible in online environment, for posting positive reviews and comments on different sites or blogs in order to create notoriety and a better image of the touristic services offered. Hence, in order to identify the way tourists perceive the influence of online counselling when deciding for a touristic package or a touristic destination, a quantitative research has been deployed for this purpose, its results being presented in the current paper. Thus, as the analysis shows, despite the large use of Internet when getting informed about a future trip, users are aware that reviews and advices posted online are not very objective.
tourism internet ethics online counselling travel agencies marketing