Social Media and Travel 2010

social media travelA few weeks ago I wrote about the social media habits of women travelers. Now World Travel Market released the 2010 Industry Report. The report gives a quick glimpse into travel industry’s professionals and their clients attitudes towards social media.

World Travel Market’s research of its exhibitors and Meridian Club members
reveals that for 20 percent of industry insiders consider social media as the single biggest opportunity over the next five years and 40 percent consider it as “a major opportunity”.

“Social Media is getting serious. In 2011, you need to be finding opportunities to promote your brand in this new arena.” Paul Richer, Senior Partner, Genesys (travel technology consultancy)

Research of UK travelers shows that they are not as enthused by social media as the industry. Almost two-thirds (64%) of those UK holidaymakers said they did not use any form of social media while researching their 2010 holiday.

Now this shouldn’t be too surprising. Approximately 60% of UK online population uses social media. This means that about 60% of all social media users use it for travel planning. Pretty impressive.

24 percent expected to use social media to plan their 2011 holiday. This is 40% of social media users, but I believe that if we ask them next year the number would be bigger than the current 60% of social media users. People don’t usually know what they are going to do when it comes to everyday behavior.

Some more stats from the survey:

  • 36% used social media when planning your holiday this summer
  • 48% do not plan to use social media to help research next year’s holiday

How social media altered the choices:

  • 58% changed at least one component of their break
  • 35% changed their choice of hotel
  • 15% switched airline ski resort or the agent/operator they planned to book with
  • 12% choose a different country after consulting social media

A pattern seems to emerge, social media is incredibly important when deciding where we spend out holidays. Our friends give us advice and we tend to believe total stranger’s on TripAdvisor more than a travel agency’s commercial.

What channels are important for the traveler:

  • TripAdvisor had the greatest impact on female booking habits (74%)
  • Facebook has the greatest influence over men (42%)
  • Facebook has the greatest influence over 25-34 year olds holiday choices (52%)

Here is the full PDF: World Travel Market 2010 Industry Report (pages 23-24).

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Image credit: Kenny Louie

Priit Kallas

Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.

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