Featured in the Telegraph and on BBC Radio
A wise man once tweeted: “pics or it didn’t happen.”
And nowhere is this mantra more evident than the social media feeds of travel fanatics.
Log onto your own channels and it often seems like everyone is holidaying 24/7, 365. Then you’ve got the strange, sun-soaked world of vloggers and Instagram influencers (#vanlife, #hotdogsorlegs). And then, of course, there’s more high-definition, #nofilter pics of mountains, oceans, deserts and yoga retreats than anyone could ever need.
But is social media impacting how we travel?
In short, yes. So much so that this year’s World Tourism Day was dedicated to that very topic.
Or, you can read on and we’ll give you a summary ourselves.
So, is social media impacting where we go?
Where once we might flick through the travel pages, ask a travel agent or, long, long ago, look on teletext (millennials, ask your parents) to decide where to holiday, now many of us head to our social channels for inspiration.
23% of UK adults will search potential holiday destinations on social media, with 16% using actual associated hashtags (think #fullmoonparty2k18 or #mardigras or #Guernseyflowerfestival).
23% agree that travel bloggers and influencers inspire their holiday choices, while 18% of people have actually booked a holiday because of things they’ve seen on social media.
And in a warning to Wi-Fi-free resorts, 15% of people say they wouldn’t go to a destination if they weren’t able to use social media while there.
What do WeSwap users think?
"My partner and I love going to places that are off the beaten track. When researching our holidays, we ﬁnd that search engines often display the most popular sights, meaning we might miss a hidden gem. Social media allows us to keep up with travel bloggers that have similar interests to us and get ideas for our next holiday."
Is social media impacting what we do while we’re there?
Sharing the holiday with friends, family and followers online seems a pretty big part of people’s holidays these days. 37% of people want to share their holiday experiences online and 16% of people said that posting pictures online is just as important as the holiday itself.
When it comes to recommendations, 17% of UK holidaymakers trust social media over magazines, television and TripAdvisor reviews.
What do WeSwap users think?
"Although I don’t use social media to ﬁgure out the destination of my holiday, I deﬁnitely turn to Twitter and Instagram for inspiration on what to do when I am there. The community of people online, whether they are travel bloggers or not, allow me to see where the best places to visit on a city break are. For sightseeing holidays and city breaks, social media is a great source of knowledge. However, if I am going on holiday somewhere relaxing, where I will be sat by the pool all day, I hardly ever reach for my phone except for the obligatory pool-side selﬁe."
Whose holidays are most influenced by social media?
Unsurprisingly, it’s the millennials. The 18-34 year olds. Our report showed that there was often an almost 20% rise in how many millennials felt their holidays were shaped by social media.
How has social media influence how you holiday? Let us know in the comments section below.