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Younger generation are influenced more by social media than friends and family on big life decisions

The survey reveals the extent to which social media influences the buying decisions of consumers across generations, and the increasing control and dominance it has over big real-life decisions, including overseas travel.

New survey released by experience design agency, 383, found that 18-35 year olds are twice as likely to take advice from influencers on social media than they are to trust the judgement of friends and family when booking a holiday. 58% of students (18-24 year olds) and 53% of ‘Gullenials’ (gullible millennials) believe Facebook, Instagram and Online Bloggers are more trustworthy than their nearest and dearest when it comes to booking a holiday.

The survey reveals the extent to which social media influences the buying decisions of consumers across generations, and the increasing control and dominance it has over big real-life decisions, including overseas travel. A lack of street wisdom, coupled with the usual holiday maker’s suspension of disbelief, could make the younger generation more vulnerable to holiday scams – less likely when recommendations come from a trusted resource.

Further statistics found that 32% of UK consumers cited Instagram as their app of choice for vicarious travel. Also, UK women browse three times as much as men – with one-third using it to find holiday inspiration, compared to only 1 in 10 (11%) of men.
 
The breakdown:

  • 44% of young adults would use Instagram over the recommendation of friends and family to influence holiday-booking decisions
  • 58% of 18-24 year olds, 53% of 24-35 year olds, 49% of 35-44 year olds, 29% of 44-55 year olds and only 13% of 55+ year olds trust social media (Instagram, Facebook and Online Bloggers) over friends and family when it comes to travel
  • Social media influences 71% of travel-planners’ decisions in the UK, with only 36% relying on word of mouth from family and friends
  • 40% of millennials are searching for holidays while they’re at work
  • 1 in 10 people spend up to 20 hours searching for holidays before they book

On social media, people whose income derives from promoting a fantasy version of their lives cannot be viewed as 100% reliable, and the lines between a genuine recommendation and what has been paid for, are blurred. When travel influencers post images of their off-the-beaten track adventures we can’t gauge how much of the ‘picture perfect post’ really is perfect and what is in fact a potential danger.

Sukhi Dehal, founder of 383, said: “These survey results provide interesting insight about how customers are searching for their holidays. Customers are more influenced by complete strangers on social media than their own friends and family.

“While social media plays an important role in inspiring us, we should be smarter in our research ahead of booking. In an era of fake news and online scams that are increasingly difficult to identify, it’s important that travellers do their homework with a broader spectrum of trusted resources – whether that’s family and friends or reputable travel-relevant sites. This is especially important for those off-the-beaten track experiences, which bring with them a set of risks due to insufficient information or knowledge.

“It’s a huge concern that the younger generation has been found to be so trusting of a source that may or may not be telling the whole truth.

“The urgent message from these survey results is yes, be inspired by social media, but be smart, responsible and safe by broadening your scope of research before making a big-life decision like travelling overseas.”

According to Instagram travel influencer, Jordan Brown, or @hellomissjordan to her 38.6K followers, the inspiration that Instagram provides plays an important role in achieving a more fulfilling experience. But safety, she urges, must come first.

“As a content creator, I definitely find that Instagram is my main consideration when booking my trips. Social media has allowed me to find beauty in every city and discover beautiful locations around the world that I otherwise would have missed if I stuck to the usual tourist routes. Personally, I use social media to plan out my locations from seeing them on other pages. For example, when I first went to Paris I wasn’t on Instagram as much and I felt like I didn’t get to see all the city had to offer. On my second trip I planned out my locations from seeing them on social media and felt like our trip was far more fulfilling. Instagram has also encouraged me to seek out more unusual destinations and find spots that haven’t yet been made ‘Insta-Famous’ to share with my audience. Although finding places off the beaten path is great, I always do my research before travelling to a new destination and educate myself about the city I’m going to. While getting new content is great, safety is always most important. It has definitely opened my eyes to so many new adventures.”

News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Posts

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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