72% of all social network users check their social network once a day while traveling
200 million passengers will board flights with wi-fi this year
69% of travel companies saw growth from Facebook
49% of travel companies saw growth from Twitter
There are two important takeaways from this:
(1) Yes travelers are using social media when researching their trips: Social media is in fact a faster, better version of old fashioned word of mouth. In the past, people were being inspired by holiday picture albums or stories told by friends and family, today they could be inspired by a vacation album uploaded on Facebook, by a Tweet such as “Just landed in Turkey! Weather and country perfect for our honeymoon!” or by a viral video, such as Dancing Matt.
(2) People are sharing their trips in real time more than ever thanks to wi-fi (only 7% of travelers use mobile Internet, but that is likely to change as roaming charges drop). This has bad implications for negative experiences and great implications for good ones.
So: Travelers are engaged on social media; their tendency to share on and after their vacations may inspire their online friends. So as a tourism destination or operator, we need to facilitate and leverage that sharing and inspiration.
Many destinations have done this successfully – see Switzerland‘s clever use of Facebook Connect, Iceland’s clunky desire to “Be Your Friend,” or Korea’s integrated “Buzz” campaign. These are just scratching the surface, because as we learned, with careful planning, we can use these planning and researching tendencies on these channels to go beyond sharing and inspiration, to concrete business development. Read on!
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: smitw2011, tourism stats | No Comments »