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How Are Travelers Using Social Media?


The explosive growth of social media in the past year has changed the way many of us do things like shop, get our news, get deals or simply engage with an expanding circle of people like never before.

A recent travelhorizons survey of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted by Ypartnership and the U.S. Travel Association revealed the following:

59% of active travelers have gone to a social networking site

Most popular activity on the sites:

  • 49% uploading photos/videos
  • 45% rating products or services
  • 25% has visited chat rooms or post content to a blog
  • 46% check new posting on their site(s) at least once a day

Does content on social networking sites influence traveler’s selection of suppliers?

Not really. Few folks are using these sites for travel planning. For example, 1 in 10 Facebook users seek advice about destination or travel service travel suppliers and only 1 in 20 Facebook users has joined a community of common travel interests. Here’s the detailed breakdown:

- 11% ask advice about a destination
- 8% ask advice about a travel supplier
- 6% learn about travel deals
- 5% get updates on destinations and travel suppliers
- 5% have joined a community with like travel interests

How the social media medium will evolve is still unclear, but two things are certain — there will be more users and the use of the medium will change.  So far, social media serves as the quick, first point of introduction to travel content or idea.  Users will head to more authoritative sources both offline or online to confirm what they have learned. We believe that as online travel sites had not done away with travel agents, neither will social media content replace more established online content providers.

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