Study: Impact of social media on the travel industry

With the advent of social media as one of the most significant ways of increasing exposure for consumer brands, it follows naturally that other domains would also benefit from the many advantages that social media has to offer. One industry that is ideally poised to capitalise on the reach of social media is the travel and tourism industry. A recent study by MindShift Interactive reports that India’s travel category garnered the second largest share (42%) of total Internet users in Asia, with 17.8 million average monthly unique visitors in the 1st quarter of 2011.

The travel and tourism industry is one that is heavily dependent on word-of-mouth publicity and the spread of opinions. Statistics show that travellers trust fellow travellers, and people are much more likely to try out a particular destination or restaurant if someone in their circle has recommended it. Facebook and Twitter are the foremost platforms that people use to air their views and share their experiences related to travel, along with personal blogs and dedicated forums.

The MindShift report tracked 19,025 mentions of travel-related subjects in conversations across various social networking websites during the time of one month.

 

Airlines clearly dominate the conversations with 56% of the share, mostly due to various recent crises such as debt & bailout, safety issues and staff concerns amongst various airlines. With such a huge chunk of conversations revolving around them, airline brands need to step up, address and try to regulate the flow of conversation in a positive direction.

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