Social media almost useless for holiday decisions, tweetie darlings

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.

Comments

  1. Kurt says

    Ha ha, Facebook is getting a reality check. All those glossy pictures and ads don’t mean a thing. I consult my friends, but not my family, when I go on vacation.

  2. Brooke in Rio says

    Here’s 10 reasons why you should ignore social media and still use a travel agent to help make your decisions. This is from Tripology by Rand McNally.
    1. Convenient One-Stop Shopping
    Travel agents can handle every aspect of your trip from airline tickets to lodging, ground transportation, activities, tours and more.
    2. Consumer Advocate
    If you should have a problem during your trip, travel agents can act on your behalf to see that proper restitutions are made.
    3. Expert Guidance
    Travel agents are experts in helping travelers get where they need to go and in helping to create possibilities most people never would have dreamed were possible.
    4. Save Time
    Avoid the headaches and let the travel agents call around and do all the time consuming work of planning a complex itinerary.
    5. Choice
    Travel agents offer you an array of options and price quotes from a variety of travel suppliers, giving you the upper hand when making your final travel decisions.
    6. Less Stress
    Planning a trip can be stressful. There are so many options and details to worry about. Travel agents do the work, resulting in less stress for you.
    7. Updated Information
    Travel agents are constantly communicating with the travel community, thus giving you the most up to date info on airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, travel visas, and other travel services to consider as you plan your trip.
    8. Customer Service
    Travel agents offer that “personal touch” to your travel planning experience- Offering help and advice that a website cannot provide.
    9. Travel Documentation
    Travel agents can help you to prepare and organize any necessary documents that you may need in order to travel outside of the country. They can direct you to your local passport office, and they know where you need a visa, as well as any other documentation that you might need along the way.
    10. Travel Expertise
    Many travel agents are considered experts in the area you are traveling to and have probably already been to your chosen destination.

  3. Ian Brown says

    Looking forward to a further drop in Facebook’s shares. As my wife and I often travel to Mexico and Florida with friends, and we all discuss with each other what we want and where is best to go, I can only think that people who are socially isolated are the ones who would take any notice of social media. Your vacation isn’t something you normally keep to yourself – you discuss options with those around you. Not social media strangers.

  4. Lisa T of Wellington NZ says

    I don’t know. As a FB addict.
    I used the internet to browse a lot before the travel took place. I used wikipedia to learn about the country, culture etc.
    I asked a travel agent about vias’s and the legal things. (In person)
    I asked friends who live there – what they suggest I do, see, eat etc. (on FB or skype).

    I use a mix of both forms. But it seems that most people live far away from me, so I didn’t do very much planning face to face. Mostly on the phone or internet!

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