A recent Survey of over 2,000 people found some interesting trending stats as shown below. The key to the future for independent travel agents will be to ensure that they can provide a relavant and searcheable site for customers. Customers clearly want this ability and prefer the ‘known’ agent to anytning else. Recommendations online and offline are increasingly playing an important part in peoples choices
Social Media via Facebook/Twitter/Blogging etc. is just a medium to engage customers and be able to hold conversations with them thorughout the year, rather than thourgh targetted mailshots or adverts in papers. News will find customers this way and customers in turn will get used to brands and companies finding them rather than the other way round.
For any travel companies that are not embracing social media now is the time.
Which resources do customers use for holiday research?
- 53% of respondents used travel agent’s websites while researching their holiday purchase.
- 49% head for Google or some other search engine.
- 42% use flight or hotel search engines.
- 40% are influenced by recommendations from friends and family.
- Duncan Bannatyne may not like it, but 39% of respondents use Tripadvisor reviews as part of their research.
- Just under 10% use Facebook and other social sites for holiday research.