A new study has confirmed that travellers remain most influenced by travel websites and traditional media like television, rather than social media sites like Facebook.
The research, by Conrad Advertising, found that while social media sites may be extremely popular, they are still some way from being considered the best source of holiday recommendations.
Instead, consumers turn to tried and tested sources of information like travel company websites and travel review sites. These are seen as both the first and best sources when looking for travel advice.
Conrad said the finding that television, newspapers and travel websites are still the most important media does not mean companies should discount social media, but it should not be the dominant force in a campaign.
The research also found some key insights into who uses online travel sites and what most influences consumers.
The Conrad research discovered age is not the main factor in determining who might use the internet to research their trips. Familiarity with technology and skill in using a computer was the main factor regardless of age.
Finally, the research found that 54% of people prefer to book online because of the ability to compare prices.
Nick Henley, media and planning director at Conrad Advertising, said: “This research is highly relevant to travel marketers and advertisers as it demonstrates the different roles played by each media type at the various stages of the travel planning and buying process.
It has long been recognised that media selection and creative strategy must vary according to the consumer’s position on the path to purchase – this research provides new insight to optimise planning accordingly.”