Commentary

Two of Three Americans Use Social Media on Vacation

With the holidays fast approaching, ‘tis the season for travel and all the baggage (get it?) that goes with it: weather delays, talkative seatmates, a succession of airport atria blurring together into one giant tile-and-glass corridor that seems to go on forever. And now, thanks to social media, we can all share our travels travails in real time. 

Roughly two-thirds of U.S. travelers -- 61% -- report using social media while on vacation, according to a new survey of travelers in 22 different countries conducted by TripAdvisor. The top reason for using social media while on vacation was “fear of missing out,” cited by 46% of travelers who do so; meanwhile 42% use social media as a way to contact people cheaply, 32% to get recommendations, and 21% to update their networks on a daily basis. With refreshing honesty, 10% of people who access social media said they do it to make their friends jealous with travel updates.

Turning to devices, 85% of U.S. travelers reported using smartphones while on holiday, according to TripAdvisor, compared to just 46% for tablets; 35% of smartphone users said they access social media via their devices, compared to 18% of tablet users. Overall 74% of respondents said they use smartphones for calls, 63% for texts, and 32% for browsing the Internet; meanwhile 27% said they use tablets to access the Internet.

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Unsurprisingly the hospitality industry has mobile firmly in its sights, with 46% of U.S, hoteliers planning to expand their mobile offerings in 2014, up from 37% in 2013.

On that note, a separate study conducted by Adara found that two out of three U.S. hotel customers own a smartphone, and 44% own a tablet -- but they’re more likely to use tablets than smartphones to research and book hotels.

1 comment about "Two of Three Americans Use Social Media on Vacation".
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  1. Juliette Cowall from Godwin Plumbing & Hardware, November 19, 2013 at 12:40 p.m.

    Is the travel industry ready to respond to customers' lost baggage, delayed/canceled flights, overbooked hotels, and other negative experiences via social media? Because that's where those frustrations will be aired. And many bloggers have extended reach, even though they might not be an easily recognizable "celebrity" at an airport gate. For the unprepared, it's a PR nightmare waiting to happen.

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