How Facebook is changing how we travel

LET’S face it, social networking website Facebook brings out the narcissist in all of us. Look at it as a “highlights package” of your life, an online brag-book.

Ranking highly among those brag-worthy events in people’s lives is, of course, travel.

Forget posts announcing engagements, wedding photos, pics of babies and cats. According to Facebook’s own figures, when it comes to sharing the major milestones in life – traveling eclipses them all.

With news this week that Facebook has now topped 1 billion users, it is clear Facebook is becoming one of the greatest tools the travel industry has.

Booked.net looks at how social media is creating a shift in the travel and tourism industry.

Facebook’s statistics, which are collated and presented on a page called Facebook Stories, show more than 40 percent of the events posted on people’s timelines feature travel.

Traveling leaves every other major milestone trailing in its wake – a new relationship accounts for 10 percent of posts, followed closely by marriage  at nine percent, and despite the high number of baby photos that appear in people’s news feeds, a new arrival only rates at four percent of posts.

The nearest rival to traveling is moving home at 18 percent.

In a pre-media world “word-of-mouth” was the only tool a business could rely on to promote itself to potential customers and in the 21st century, backed by a slew of constantly-evolving technology, “word-of-mouth” has become more powerful than ever before.

We all know the feeling, you might be taking five minutes out from work to check your news feed when one of your friends posts photos from their weekend in Paris.

Yes, they are showing off, but as you try to suppress any jealously and feel happy for them, studies are increasingly showing that when people see these photos it can trigger a deeper response.

In fact those photos can act as the catalyst that transforms a daydream into reality – prompting people into actively booking flights and accommodation.

Travel and tourism industry business intelligence analysts Eyefortravel Ltd have crunched the numbers.

In a survey, the company found 50 percent of those travel and tourism businesses polled said they had gained direct bookings from social media platforms, primarily Facebook, but other formats such as Twitter were also increasingly making more and more impact on how customers were behaving.

A further 20 percent of travel companies claimed social media had become the  most-effective tool in their marketing arsenal.

The way of the future? Increasingly it seems likely.

So next time you load your travel pics think of it this way. Not only are you making your friends green with envy, you are also boosting the finances of the travel and tourism industry.

Makes it seem less like bragging and more like a contribution to the world’s economy doesn’t it?

So snap away.

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One Response to How Facebook is changing how we travel

  1. kelseyshappiness says:

    This is such an interesting topic because being part of the generation that pretty much grew up with facebook, it’s hard to think of a time when we didn’t last put up pictures of any kind of traveling we did. It could have been a weekend away in college to another friend’s university and there were maybe 100 photos or so up. Now that I’m traveling all over the world, I’m finding it difficult to balance what I share on my personal facebook and what I don’t. With some people it’s the only way of communication, for many different reasons, and this just prompts me to put more and more info up but then again, it looks as though I’m bragging to some people! I think facebook is a great tool in order to keep in touch with those who aren’t close to you (or even on the same continent) but I also think there is a limit as to how much of your travels need to be displayed publicly and frequently. I think somewhere there is a good balance of this and some people just haven’t found it yet!

    Thank you for writing this post and prompting some internal discussion about my own facebook habits!

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