Real time shopping is becoming very popular to travelers across the world. Online purchases show that more travelers are booking their own airline reservations, scheduling accommodations, and choosing more activities than ever before.
A leading travel market research firm has discovered that social media through real time searches will have a massive impact on what travelers do and how they will spend their money on vacation. Travelers in the U.S. last year spent 26.8 billion on tours, skiing, sports events, amusement parks, spas, museums, zoos, concerts and other cultural and recreational activities. That’s more than twice the amount spent on cruises and package tours, and nearly twice the amount spent on car rentals.
Through social media, you can determine what is attracting travelers, and what they are going to do once they get there. Location based searches and social networks are already having a huge effect on consumer trip planning. The impact is becoming more profound as tablet PC’s and android style phones are becoming more prevalent with users and travelers due to ease of use and real time searches. They know what is going on and what others are saying about hotels, events, and activities.
Destination hotels and travel attractions ought to have a social marketing strategy in place to adapt to the fast changing digital landscape to ensure they are in position to take advantage of opportunities. Those who move quickly to develop and engage consumers will gain a significant advantage in a very competitive market place.
Research has discovered three out of four travelers use digital media devices while traveling. Two-thirds say they are more likely to shop, book travel activities and rooms from their devices while traveling. More than three in four travelers cite travel reviews, articles, videos and photos, as a major influence in their decisions before booking. Travelers that are spending the most money on activities are influenced by web content, blogs, buyer’s guides and social networks. Four in ten travelers say they always solicit advice from their social networks.
Social Media will continue to significantly influence consumer’s choices of activities and destinations. Social media will continue to expand as travelers increasingly depend on reviews, videos, and personal recommendations on socials networks in making future vacation plans and activities.