Continuing our travel theme this week, today we explore the importance of recommendations on social media when Vacation Buyers are researching travel options.

Recommendations and reviews have always had a huge impact on the process of travel bookings and today they are all over social media – be they direct from travel communities or friends and family. They have the potential to affect travel decisions at every stage of the purchase journey. 45% of those who plan to buy a vacation in the next six months research brands on social media, and 1 in 4 say that seeing good comments about a brand on these platforms affects their likelihood of buying something.

The good news for brands is that there’s a great deal of user-generated content to capitalize on. Most vacationers are willing to post hashtagged holiday snaps and share their experiences at certain locations across social – whether that’s sharing photos of their hotel room or complaining about airline delays. This is especially the case on platforms like Instagram that inspire those who are looking to choose an experience or destination

South African Tourism tapped into user-generated content by inviting international travelers to participate in a #MeetSouthAfrica campaign on Instagram, where travel bloggers set out to cover all nine provinces of South Africa. The hashtag has generated more than 290,000 posts on Instagram of people sharing their experiences while traveling. This is a great example of why user-generated content is a win-win for holiday makers and brands. The brands’ experiences and destinations on offer are showcased, and consumers share themselves at their best – relaxing and enjoying themselves on holiday.

Vacation Buyers are internet users aged 16-64 who are planning to buy a vacation abroad or at home in the next 6 months.

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Written by

Katie is a Strategic Insights Manager at GWI. Moving to the company 4 years ago, Katie heads up the Strategic Insights team, overseeing the production of bespoke assets for clients. Katie also writes on GWI's blog, with a particular interest in social media and marketing.

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