Social media a ‘powerful global influencer’ for tourism
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Social media a ‘powerful global influencer’ for tourism

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Social media is the single biggest influencer for overseas tourists when deciding which countries to visit, according to a new report published by VisitBritain.

The report underlines the importance of social media to the success of tourism and hospitality businesses, with Facebook being the main go-to source for respondents in all stages of the holiday-making process.

The role of social media in the context of holidays report focused on visitor markets in the USA, Germany, India and South Korea and found overall that 89 per cent of those surveyed had used social media at some stage of their holiday.

India took the number one spot with 98 per cent of the market having used social media during their holiday planning and once returning home; 95 per cent in South Korea; 84 per cent in the USA and 77% in Germany.

Almost 70 per cent of all respondents said content posted online by friends made them want to visit a destination. The influence of photos was highest in India, where 81 per cent agreed that seeing their friends’ travel photos made them want to visit the same place – followed closely by South Korea (76 per cent) and the USA (68 per cent).

When it comes to choosing Britain as a holiday destination, the research found that social media plays a key role in the decision-making process with Facebook the main go-to source, particularly when tourists are deciding to visit Britain (44%). Meanwhile Twitter was most commonly used for seeking suggestions and advice while on holiday and Instagram was used most by people wanting to plan their trip or share their experiences – though to a lesser extent than the other platforms.

“This research reinforces to all of us working in the travel industry the powerful role that social media now plays in offering unparalleled opportunities to engage directly with potential visitors in a timely way, with the right messages, demonstrating an understanding of their world and motivations for travel,” said VisitBritain marketing director Joss Croft.

“That’s why it’s an integral part of the tourism marketing that VisitBritain undertakes, moving Britain from being a place to travel to at some stage to a ‘must go now’ destination, inspiring more visitors to travel here and explore all our nations and regions.”

To access the The role of social media in the context of holidays report, which includes details of the study markets, click here.

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Social media is the single biggest influencer for overseas tourists when deciding which countries to visit, according to a new report published by VisitBritain.
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