If you read one of the newest Press Releases of the World Travel Market in London, you could think it got no big influence! But if you look at it closer again, actually you'll see that it is just the opposite!
Does that make sense?
The WTM (World Travel Market) says:
“Social media's small influence over holiday choices waning
...Almost half “48%” (UK holidaymakers) revealed social media would have no bearing whatsoever on their 2011 holiday booking decision making...”
That sounds very negative! Just let's change it to:
Already 52% of UK holidaymakers use social media to help making a decision for their next holiday!
Now from my personal view, I think that many (most) companies in the travel branch have no clue how social media really works and they don't use its potential. And social media already makes such a big impact of 52%!
Can you imagine where it will go at the moment people will use its whole potential?
In the last couple of months I've watched the development of social media. I visit sites of airlines and I get their newsletters where they advertise their Twitter and Facebook sites. They reach millions of people each month (if not per day!) They should have soooo many followers! And yes, some have, but others “just” got around 7.000! For a personal account that is a really good number already. But for a company which deals with millions of people?
Let's go to other businesses... accommodations.
I'm a traveler and I stay in hotels, hostels, b&b's and other accommodations. I'm active on Twitter and I finally see a profile of an interesting accommodation, so I follow them. Right at that moment, I am a potential guest. But why are soooo many accommodations not following back? You don't even have to do it manually, as there are sites to help you with it!
Don't you want to connect with me?
The same with Tourist Boards. I'm planning a visit to.... I see them on Twitter and follow them. Don't you think, that you should follow back every single follower? Maybe their account seems not directly of interest for a tourist board or for an accommodation. But isn't behind almost every Twitter account also a person, who loves to go on holiday? How many people do you know who hates holidays?
I hope that you see where I'm trying to get.
The social media impact on travel is massive!
There is still soooo much potential out there and it will be used more in future! If already 52% UK holidaymakers choose social media to make up their mind for their next trip, that is an enormous figure if you ask me.
It just shows me, that the WTM didn't quite understand social media yet.
What are your impressions? Does social media influence you or travelers in general?
Please leave a comment to it!