Most holidaymaker choose their holiday destinations based on discussions with family and friends as well as influencers on social media platforms.
That’s according to the travel professionals surveyed by World Travel Market London – the foremost global event of the international travel industry.
When asked to rank the most important sources for consumer interest in a destination, the most popular answer was ‘online/social media/influencer’ – cited by almost four in five respondents.
The second most popular reply was ‘family/friends’, which was mentioned by three quarters of respondents.
Third on the list was ‘advertising’, tipped by about half of respondents, while other influences such as ‘TV and radio’ were ranked by about a third of those in the survey.
Other factors lower down the rankings were ‘habit’, ‘print media’ and ‘films’.
More insights about the impact of online influences and social media personalities are revealed in the WTM London consumer survey.
It found that social media influencers are inspiring one in five young travellers to head off on holiday – but their impact drops dramatically for older generations.
The research revealed how travel decisions of Generation Z – those born in the late 90s and into the noughties – are much more influenced by platforms such as Instagram and TikTok than mature travellers.
To help delegates keep abreast of rapidly changing trends in the market, WTM London has dedicated more sessions and content to social media influencers and new marketing channels.
It has also redesigned and renamed its co-located travel and hospitality technology show. Previously called Travel Forward, it has become WTM Travel Tech, to better showcase new products and host seminars, debates and presentations.
Juliette Losardo, Exhibition Director at World Travel Market London, said:
“It’s been a rollercoaster for travel brands and destinations over the past three years; first the pandemic, followed by airport disruption as the industry catered for soaring demand – and now the looming cost-of-living crisis.
“Consumer trends are fast-moving and unpredictable, so our mission has been to support the sector, keeping professionals up-to-date thanks to specialist advice from experts.
“Our website has featured articles and blogs over recent months about influencer trends, virtual tourism and other developments in marketing.
“Delegates at WTM London will be able to meet even more experts and hear from them directly at a host of sessions dedicated to helping the sector prepare for exciting opportunities in 2023 and beyond.”
The WTM London trade survey quizzed 210 travel industry professionals from around the world, while the consumer poll questioned 2,000 members of the public.