A study of 500 British travellers revealed that less than 1 per cent of people use social media when researching where they’ll go for their annual holiday. It seems that good old fashioned word-of-mouth is still the best source. Step away from the keyboard, social media tweetie darlings, because almost no-one is listening.
They listen to family instead, with 30 per cent of respondents saying relatives are influential. Friends accounted for 12 per cent, while general internet content featured in just 10 per cent of research and decision making, in the survey carried out for Directline Holidays by Bristol-based news agency One Poll in June.
Traditional media (TV, magazines, newspapers) took 13 per cent between them and 7 per cent relied on work buddies.
Directline CEO Maria Whiteman says the results are “intriguing” as many consumers “still prefer a personal recommendation despite the importance of sites such as TripAdvisor”.
“While only a small percentage admit to being swayed by social media, it may be that some of our respondents have been unconsciously influenced when making a decision about what product to purchase. Other internal statistics do show that bookings definitely emerge from customers clicking through from other websites but our research shows that the influence of social media may be overstated.”
The survey results research contradicts other studies which say that over 50 per cent of consumers use social media for ideas about where to go.
“Despite a large percentage of people liking to think that they are independently-minded travellers, we all get our holiday inspiration from somewhere – if not from another person we will have read about a destination, seen it on the TV or discovered it on the internet at some point,” says Whiteman.
I wonder what the Twitterverse and Facebook addicts will make of this? Has social media influenced your travel choice, or do you just look at the pictures?
*Thanks to Travel Mole for alerting us to the info.