Social media’s place as a marketing channel for the travel industry as well as its use for researching and buying a holiday is causing much scratching of heads.
Today, as World Travel Market opens, a survey by the exhibition organisers finds 40% of UK travellers are using social media to help research a holiday.
But, for the industry the medium is now viewed as the most important marketing channel ahead of consumer reviews, mobile and pay-per-click advertising.
Furthermore, in five years time 48% of the industry believes social media will be more important than PPC while 37% say it will remain behind PPC and 15% believe it is already at a tipping point and its popularity will diminish.
Of the industry figures surveyed by WTM 22% already use social media as a revenue stream and 27% are planning to going forward.
For the consumers that do use social media in their travel plans, 89% have had a positive experience and 23% say they have used it more in 2011 than 2010.
The medium is also having a significant impact on their travel plans with a third saying they change their hotel choice after consulting social media channels while one-in-ten switch resorts.
Further findings of the World Travel Market 2011 Industry Report:
- 66% of travellers say they did not access any websites via mobile while researching their holiday
- Two out of 10 say their mobile device does not have web access
- Less than 30% would consider mobile to book a holiday in the next five years and only 9% may book using their mobile in 2012
- More than half of consumers do not use their mobile phone while on holiday with 42% saying it is because of roaming charges