This study has two objectives: to examine the interplay between communication technologies, social ties, attractiveness of destination and distance, focusing on the visiting friends tourism; and to further distinguish the visiting friends sub-segment from the visiting relatives’ one. We pursue a quantitative approach by analyzing survey data among 300 respondents who maintain connections with friends overseas, while accounting for endogeneity and simultaneity concerns. We find further justification of the need to study visiting relatives and visiting friends separately. We demonstrate that the use of different communication channels is not monolithic; some media are negatively correlated with travel to meet in person, while other media and meetings in person are mutually reinforcing. Yet, the ongoing advances in communication technologies, on the one hand, and in transportation, on the other, entails that the interplay between communication technologies and face-to-face meeting will evolve, hence, it should continue to be explored in future research.
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd
- Communication technologies
- Social networks
- Visiting friends and relatives