Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Thu July 09 2015

Infographic Highlights Importance of Digital Travel Marketplace

Travel Technology | Ryan Rudnansky | July 09, 2015

Infographic Highlights Importance of Digital Travel Marketplace

Infographic courtesy of Stackla

A recent infographic by Stackla, a content marketing platform, details just how important the digital world and social media are in the travel industry.

According to the infographic, which cites various major sources, consumers are expected to spend $65 million online on travel this summer in the United States, a 7 percent increase over 2014. The average consumer will spend about $1,589 on travel via the Internet during the season. On top of that, mobile bookings appear to be growing: Consumers are expected to spend $1 online for every $5 spent on travel.

Travelers are tapping into social media and sources over the Internet throughout their booking process, as well. According to the infographic, 66 percent of travelers do their research mainly online, 52 percent of summer vacationers use social media for inspiration and 76 percent of travelers say online reviews from fellow travelers give them insider knowledge that can’t be found elsewhere.

On top of that, millennials—a heavily targeted segment in the travel industry these days—get advice through online users. In fact, 40 percent of millennials rely on user-generated content (UGC) to inform their travel plans.

UGC is widely trusted more than travel brands, as well, per the infographic. In a broad survey, nearly all consumers (92 percent) said they trust media via word-of-mouth or friends and family more than any other type of advertising (an 18 percent increase since 2007). Online reviews were the second-most trusted form of media, with 70 percent of consumers indicating they trust the platform (a 15 percent increase from four years ago).

And if travel companies aren’t tapping into social media by now, they may need to rethink their marketing plan. According to the infographic, 97 percent of millennials post on social media platforms and share experiences with friends while traveling, while 63 percent of Gen Xers and 33 percent of Baby Boomers (who seem to be increasingly technologically savvy) share a daily status update on their social media account(s) while on holiday.

And you’ll find no shortage of travel photos on social media. By June 2015, 47 million travel photos had been posted…on Instagram alone.

Of course, it’s one thing to know the importance of UGC in the travel marketplace; it’s quite another to be able to aggregate, curate and leverage it effectively. But, for those who do, it can be like walking into a goldmine. Hamilton Island doubled its social return on investment one month after the launch of its social hub. Hashtag engagement at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week increased threefold over the previous year. And bookings at Tourism Victoria destinations increased by 12 percent through Fairfax Media’s Stayz website.

For more on how the digital world can boost traveling, check out Stackla’s infographic below.



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