Monitoring of administrative accounts regulating tourist activity in Russia (on the Example of social network “Vkontakte”)

Introduction. This article presents the sociological monitoring results of the official public authorities’ accounts effectiveness. The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in 2020 forced most businesses and organizations to move their activities online. For organizations working with different public groups, representation in the digital space is an urgent need. Since in the current conditions the ability to quickly reconstruct the formats of communication activity has become crucial, social networks turn out to be a key business resource. At the same time it is obvious that government agencies, which under normal circumstances are more reactive than commercial structures and NGOs, have not shown the same effectiveness in internet communications. The authors set a research task is to collect information about the activities of federal and regional bodies responsible for the development and management of the tourism industry in official representations in the online space. The tourist sector was chosen for the research as the most affected by the pandemic, on the one hand, and as a driver of the economy in a situation of general crisis, on the other hand. Methodology and sources. The methodological framework of the study is the structural-functional approach. The subject of the analysis is the communication activity of official accounts of the authorities involved in the regulation of the tourism industry in the capital and regions in the social network “Vkontakte” (as the most popular in Russia). We analyzed 249 publications by 15 online activity parameters in 11 groups of subjects the Russian Federation for two weeks of 2020. Results and discussion. Monitoring of official accounts showed a significant variation in the number of subscribers – from several hundred to tens of thousands. Two accounts had no content at all during the survey periods. The remaining groups did not have a unified approach to publication activity, namely different degrees of frequency of publications, as well as different formats of presenting material. According to the quantitative characteristics and the degree of audience engagement, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Archives of the Republic of Komi is the most active group, the account of the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism) is the most active by the quality of preparation and presentation content, the virality of posts (and by a high degree of negative feedback). A summary table of the data is given in the publication. Conclusion. The study has shown that the current situation with the pandemic has had a significant impact on the communication activity of the studied administrative structures. A number of organizations, even which initially had a large audience of subscribers, either did not update their content or did so irregularly. The organizations that do not take into account the interests of the audience and demonstrate a formal approach to the maintenance of pages were identified. Thus, it can be argued that such an important communication resource as social networks is used ineffectively by the majority of administrative bodies in the sphere of tourism management.

Authors: Аnna A. Chugunova, Alexandra N. Pisareva

Direction: Sociology

Keywords: tourism, political power, social networks, modern communications, media communications

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