Published on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New report questions the importance of social media

Facebook and Twitter are not the best source of holiday recommendations for UK holidaymakers, according to a new report.

The report, called Mapping the Travel Mind, was carried out for Conrad Advertising, which wanted to analyse the modern consumer's holiday planning and buying process.

It found that instead of social media, travel review websites and travel company websites are seen as the first source to turn to when seeking recommendations.

The research found that:

- Online access and skills are more important than a person’s age when determining their holiday planning preferences

- Online media are important for all age groups and that older people who do use the internet are just as likely, if not more so, to use online media sources when planning a holiday

- The most used media sources of holiday ideas and inspiration remain TV, newspapers and the travel sections of media-owned websites

- To achieve consumer awareness and influence we need to continue to use these media to target prospective customers at the beginning of their holiday planning process

- Price comparison is the main purpose of online searching and research – 70% of all adults (and all age groups up to 70) say they prefer to book online. Their reason relates to their belief in finding ‘the best price’ (54%) more than it does convenience (31%).

The YouGov survey interviewed 1,340 respondents, with 1,040 completing an online questionnaire and 300 interviewed in person.

Nick Henley, media and planning director of Conrad Advertising, said: “This research is highly relevant to travel marketers and advertisers as it demonstrates the different roles played by each media type at the various stages of the travel planning and buying process.

“It has long been recognised that media selection and creative strategy must vary according to the consumer’s position on the path to purchase – this research provides new insight to optimise planning accordingly."

For a copy of the full report, please email Nick Henley at [email protected]

Henley has agreed to write a guest comment piece for TravelMole next week.

By Bev Fearis

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