Online Media & The Traveler

Goals

To determine the importance of online media in influencing traveler destinations including the best social media options. Are social posts better than content posted on social media? What is best when looking at seeding/native content/distributed content? Are Influencers, podcasts, or videos a good option? Finally, are generations affected differently by online media?

Early Findings

Destination Analysts have slide shows of major topics entitled "The State of The American Traveler". Each edition shared some great insights and demographics on specific travel topics and trends. They might be of use in other areas as well. 3

Social Media & the Traveler

The State of the American Traveler- Mobile Edition

  • One edition focused on technology and app usage.
  • In 2008, fewer than one in five (17.2%) travelers used them to help plan their leisure trips. Now, fully 96 percent of American leisure travelers own or regularly use a mobile phone, with 64.7 percent using this device to plan their trips. The proportion of leisure travelers using their phones as travel planning resources seems to have moderated in recent years, at about two-thirds of the traveling population.
  • Use of mobile phones in trip planning before leaving home has nearly tripled in the past 3 years.
  • Beyond simply gathering logistical information for their trips, most travelers also use their mobile phones to find inspiration or ideas on places to travel. Whether using social media, search engines, travel apps or simply finding ideas by chance, well over half of the traveling public (54.3%) say they use their phones for such inspiration. One in five (19.9%) say they do so frequently.
  • The mobile environment is now powerful for effecting destination selection. Over the last two years travelers have used mobile devices their go-to resource to entertain themselves when bored or unoccupied.

The State of the American Traveler- Technology & Mobile Edition

  • When asked what travelers had used in the last months for travel inspiration, the use of social media sites was the hands down favorite. Percentages are as follows:
  • Social media sites: 36.5%
  • Travel agency sites: 28.6%
  • AirBnb: 24.7%
  • YouTube: 20.3%
  • Asking a friend on social media: 17.1%
  • Travel Podcasts: 12.6%
  • Email travel newsletters: 9.9%
  • User review websites: 8.6%
  • Furthermore, they asked social media users what site they used for inspiration. The results are as follows: Facebook (78.4%), Instagram (60.2%), Pinterest (43.4%), Twitter (25.8%), and Snapchat (31.1%).

Social Media Statistics

  • Video performs better than all other types of Facebook posts. On average, video posts on Facebook get at least 59% more engagement than other post types.
  • Create content for Facebook that is both human and story-forward.
  • Play the long game by focusing on building an engaged community.

Results of this block of research:

This block of research focused on travel statistics to determine how important social media is for the traveler. There was not enough time to establish if social posts or content posts were better, along with the types of content that are the best to use, and how generations are affected.

Proposed next steps:

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