Survey: Social Networking Isn’t the Ticket for Regular Travelers
Social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube wield little influence over regular U.S. travelers, a new survey shows. In fact, those platforms rank at the bottom of sources of information that active travelers trust the most.
Eighty-one percent of regular travelers said that what they learn from friends and family means more than any other information source, according to the Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2010 Portrait of American Travelers survey.
That compares with 19 percent of frequent travelers who have confidence in information found on Facebook and Twitter, and 14 percent who have confidence in information found on YouTube.
Ypartnership and Harrison Group said that “traditional sources of information about destinations and travel service suppliers appear to continue to exert greater influence over consumer choice” than social media.
Behind friends and family in trustworthiness were:
• Travel guidebooks (57 percent).
• Online travel agents (54 percent).
• Online advisory sites (53 percent).
• Travel company or destination websites (46 percent).
• Travel agents (46 percent).
• Media coverage (43 percent).
• Brochures (39 percent).
• Blogs (33 percent).
• Travel advertising (27 percent).
“Whether and how the influence of social media on travelers’ actual behavior grows may be an entirely different question two years from now given the rapidly evolving nature of the manner in which consumers are discovering and engaging with its content,” sponsors of the survey said in a news release.
An active traveler is defined as someone who took at least one trip that required overnight accommodations during the previous 12 months.
The Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2010 Portrait of American Travelers, conducted in February 2010, questioned 2,524 U.S. households. Each household had an annual income of at least $50,000.
A report from World Travel Market backs up the Ypartnership/Harris Group findings.
World Travel Market said that nearly two-thirds of U.K. travelers who were polled said they didn’t use any form of social media in researching their 2010 summer holidays. Only 24 percent said they expected to use social media to plan their 2011 holidays.Continued on the next page