Social Media Powering Travel

In the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travellers, two thirds of those travellers report that they use travel videos to inspire, inform and plan their trips – that’s up from less than half two years ago.

The most popular source of travel video content is social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat, with 36% accessing travel videos on those platforms, up from 17% of travelers in 2021.

Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International, noted that: “Video storytelling has always been an effective way to promote a destination. And the importance of social media as a source of travel video content continues to grow.”

Thirty-two percent of travellers report accessing travel video content through online video services like YouTube and Vimeo, while 24% find this content on streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple and Disney+.

Only 20% get their travel video content from more traditional sources like travel TV shows on cable or satellite TV.

Other survey highlights include:

  • Online search (55%), advice from friends, family & other visitors (51%), and tips from locals (49%) have grown significantly over the past year as sources of information for travelers planning to shop local on their trips (up an average of 6 points each)!
  • 78% of American travellers say it is important (53% saying it is VERY important) for them to visit a destination before moving their for a new job!  Something to keep in mind for workforce recruitment that many of us in tourism already know: “It all begins with a visit.”
  • The economy continues to hold the greatest influence on changing travel plans as 54% of American travellers indicate inflation will impact (28%) or greatly impact (26%) their decision to travel in the next six months.  The good news is that this is down 6 points over the prior month.
  • 61% Indicate the cost of airfare will impact their decision to travel in the next six months (up 4 points since March).
  • 48% say gas prices will do the same (down 3 points since March; however this survey was fielded three days before OPEC announced its next major production cut).
  • Despite all this, overall travel demand rains near record territory as 91% of American travellers still report plans to take a trip in the next six months so look forward to a robust summer leisure travel season.

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