A recent independent survey carried out by popular online travel agent Directline Holidays reveals that less than 1% of people use social media when choosing their annual holiday destination. The majority rely instead on recommendations by friends and family to make their decision
Family was more important than friends with 30% of those surveyed being predominantly influenced by their family compared to 12% by their friends.
The survey was originally undertaken by Directline Holidays to uncover key purchasing drivers for holiday decisions made by its customer base but revealed some surprising results.
Commenting on the findings, Maria Whiteman, CEO of Directline Holidays, said: “The internet and social media are undoubtedly growing in importance with websites like Tripadvisor helping customers to check that they are booking the right trip, but it is intriguing to discover that many still prefer a personal recommendation.”
She continues: “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.”
After family and friends, the internet came out as the next biggest influence, 10 times more influential than social media. Traditional media, such as newspapers, TV and magazines made up 13% between them, proving that they are still important influencers.
7% said that work colleagues were their main influence, meaning ‘word of mouth’ or human interaction made up approximately half of the survey’s responses (family, friends and colleagues) – a lot considering nearly a quarter of those surveyed claimed to not be influenced by anything.
Maria Whiteman added: “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.”
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.