Keene’s Monthly Travel Trends: Social Media

2013 is proving to be the age of digital revolution for the travel industry! Over the bank holiday we have been busy spotting some of the latest travel trends. Here are our top five:

1)     Mobile will ‘fundamentally change’ travel the industry according to hotel portal HRS, who predicts that more users will surf the internet via mobile devices than computers next year, transforming smartphones and tablets into mobile travel agencies.

2)     Social media is now the most popular way for travellers to communicate with friends and family back home, and its rise has led to a major slump for the postcard industry, a new report has revealed. According to a study by travel search site Skyscanner, only 11% of travellers now send a postcard when they go on holiday, while 91% go online to communicate with friends back home.

3)     Facebook is now the most popular way to update those at home (58%), with almost four out of five people admitting to updating their status every couple of days and 17% checking their news feeds at least every couple of hours.  The survey also revealed that travel agent brochures may also be a thing of the past, with 88% of respondents saying they no longer using brochures when researching a trip. Instead, travellers turn to technology as travel websites (17%) and social media sites (21%) became the most popular forms of travel inspiration. That said, more than one in 10 people still said they turn to newspapers and magazines when researching holidays.

4)     Thomas Cook is claiming a travel industry first with the launch of a bespoke 24/7 social media monitoring facility. The Thomas Cook Listening Lab will use a specially trained team to monitor online ‘chatter’ about the group’s 60+ global brands in over 180 languages. The team will identify social ‘brand champions’ and who the company should be interacting with to help increase sales. In addition, the facility will aid in crisis management, provide real time comparison of competitor brands and listen to all customer sentiment.

5)     Aviva research reveals holidays are increasingly viewed as a chance to spend quality time with extended family, rather than to get away from home life. The online survey of 2,000 British adults found that 35% actively choose to go away with grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins and friends. The top reason for doing so, cited by 51% of respondents, was to spend more quality time together, followed by feeling inspired to do more exciting activities when travelling as a group (35%), sharing the costs (32%), benefiting from a ‘free-cation’ (17%) and sharing childcare responsibilities (15%).

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