Social Media Influences on Holiday Behaviour

how social media is changing the way we travel

Photo: Pexels

Do you set trends or follow them when it comes to getting away? According to a new study, social media is having a significant effect on our holiday behaviour

When you’re browsing through Instagram or Facebook feeds, what are the things that jump out at you? Is it your mate’s selfie taken on a tropical beach or in a bustling metropolis? 

Do you then catch yourself exploring the exact same destination on Google? Don’t worry because you’re not alone. According to a study, posts by friends on social media massively influence the travel habits of Millennials.

Read more to find out …

  • How selfies inspire your travel plans
  • Which accounts are favoured by the travel community
  • How people usually plan their trips nowadays
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Inspired by the selfie

While in the past, word of mouth was instrumental for those planning holidays, there’s been a massive shift among those aged under 39-years-old. 

That’s according to a new survey carried out in the US by the agencies AMP and BLITZ. For their study, “Targeting Moments of Need in the New Travel Landscape,” the marketing experts analysed the behaviour of American travellers.

“When tourists aim to compose the perfect vacation selfie, they’re creating more than just travel envy – they’re creating copycats,” states the report.

It reveals that a whopping 84 per cent of Millennials have planned a trip on the basis of social media posts.

Travel network

Although 16 per cent of respondents still booked a getaway on suggestions from family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, Facebook closely followed in the influencer rankings. 15 per cent of all participants were inspired by Zuckerberg’s site when it came to planning their next trip.

Instagram with 13 per cent and YouTube with 12 per cent were almost as strong, while Twitter (eight per cent) and Snapchat (five per cent) came a little further back.

Social media has now outstripped traditional sources, with magazines and television only inspiring eight per cent of young travellers.

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The accounts preferred by the travel community  

There are also trends emerging in the type of accounts followed by these globetrotters. 70 per cent of Millennials have subscribed to the pages of travel brands.

These are the favourites:

  1. Driving service Uber
  2. Overnight community portal Airbnb
  3. TripAdvisor 
  4. Expedia
  5. Hilton
Trip planning

On average, Millennials begin planning their trips about 45 days before booking. Usually, the budding tourist can spend between two and three hours searching for flights or reserving hotel rooms. However, 16 per cent fall into the ultra-careful category. They can spend six hours or more trying to organise their holiday getaway.

38 per cent of all participants in the survey said they spent at least one hour reading travel stories while 30 per cent hit the two-hour mark. However, most of the time was used by travellers trying to get the very best deals on flights and hotels.

For this connected generation, the laptop is the tool of choice (35 per cent), but the smartphone continues to make up ground with more and more Millennials switching to mobile services.

By comparison: only two per cent gained the information they needed in printed form. 

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11 2016 The Red Bulletin

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