There are more than 2 billion active Internet users around the globe, indicating that one of three people are connected. On top of that, these users do not form a merely passive audience, unlike television and other similar media that enjoy audience of the same width. Presently, a large part of the Internet content is being created by the users who type their own opinions, thoughts, comments or upload their photos and videos.
Those who utilize the Internet to share their own views are also paying great attention to the opinions by other users. This, in turn, leads to gradually declining influence of traditional channels and rapidly increasing importance with regards to purchasing decisions.
The same goes for the travel & accommodation industry, where Internet and social media influence on purchasing decisions is higher than many other industries.
Travel plans begin online
A review of the statistics that Funsherpa compiled from many different sources reveals this trend even more clearly. According to these statistics, 62% people use the Internet to lay out their plans before they set out on a travel or vacation.
Even more, initial travel ideas of 45% of users are influenced by the content they view on the Internet. Then comes the research. 43% of users read the comments posted by those who have previously resided in the facility they are interested in, 31% of them watch the videos about the place, and 24% of the users read the review articles in travel and hotel blogs.
Besides, it is easy to find other sources confirming this trend. That is because one in every 5 hotel guests share their hotel experiences online, in the form of reviews. 11% of the users add their own comments to these reviews.
Social media directly impacts travel and accommodation decisions
Whether they stay for vacation or for business purposes, hotel guests can’t help sharing their experience on social media. According to the study, 70% of people accommodating in facility post on Facebook during their stay. 46% of these guests check-in their location on Foursquare or Facebook.
Social media may lead to last-minute changes in users’ plans, particularly in their travel and accommodation plans. According to relevant studies, 52% of the users may change their original plan under the influence of social media. While remaining loyal to their destination, 33% of the users decide to change the facility that they will accommodate in, again under the influence of social media.
50% of the travel agencies taking part in the relevant study agree that social media have a direct impact on sales. Let us remind you that all these statistics are what the studies conducted in 2012 have found out. As you can guess, the Internet and social media are growing their influence by each passing day. Therefore, it is a foregone conclusion that these rates that the studies find out will have become even more higher by the end of 2013
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