Scrolling through trending hashtags and posts, one would think Instagram was initially invented to share stunning photos of the most unbelievable places in the world. Travelers love posting about their adventures, and not just on Instagram, but Facebook, Twitter, and the rest. Social media has impacted travel not just during the trip, but also before and after.
Facebook is utilized for travel by consumers and business. Apparently, 52% of Facebook users report increased desire to travel after seeing friends’ posts. Social media has the power to inspire people and bring about a need for adventure when there previously was none. Facebook’s platform is essentially free advertising for hotels, airlines, and other companies that profit from travel. Additionally, 55% are involved in pages that relate to trip planning, especially when organizing their own. These pages could be for travel products (suitcases, travel journals), accommodations (hotels, Airbnb), even people (whose purpose is to share their travels). Now, you can even book your stay on Facebook! 50% of hotel companies have enabled users to book their room through a widget or booking engine right on their page.
Where do you get your vacation ideas from? 1 in 5 people search through social media for inspiration in their trip planning. Social media accounts for 27% of research on where they want to go. When planning hotel accommodations, looking for vacation activity inspiration, or researching attractions, social media is used for 22% each. Essentially, 1/3 of vacation planning is done through social media. Considering how simple it is to navigate, this shouldn’t be too surprising. Hashtags on Instagram, for example, can isolate the search to just about anything specific, be it an entire country, an island, or even a small stretch of beach. That makes it easy to visually narrow down ideas and even find new ones. Before the web of social media, the norm for trip planning was a travel agency and, for some, a library of books on destinations, restaurant reviews (usually by city), and more. Now, all of that information can be accessed on our phones or computers, usually free of charge, and forever overflowing with unique ideas and genuine recommendations.