Content plays a vital role in any destination or tourism organisation’s strategy, given that it can be the decisive factor in a traveller’s buying decision. With the central role that recommendations and reviews now play in the travel purchase decision-making process, it is an increasingly vital tool for marketers within the industry. Relating to this, Tnooz presented some interesting statistics on the influence of content in travel.
What content influences travellers?
Over half of users surveyed claim that they are influenced by online searches, at 53%, whilst even more reported being influenced by others’ testimonials (63%). With regard to the specifics of planning a trip, most travellers turn to social media for inspiration, especially for their destination and hotel choice (76% and 68% respectively), while many also consider the sources in determining the tourist activities, attractions and restaurants to visit (64%, 60%, 52%).
During and after vacations, travellers’ most-shared form of content is photos, and given the other statistics highlighted, these images can certainly influence others. While half of travellers download travel apps as a reference point before their trips, particularly those focussing on guide information, weather and restaurants, about a third of travellers continue to search the web for research purposes during the holiday. The most popular travel app was identified as the content-rich Google Maps.
Encouraging Content Creation
With the importance of content, notably other travellers’ content, established, how can a destination or tourism organisation encourage the creation of such information to communicate their destinations? Research shows that over a quarter of users could be convinced by loyalty rewards, whilst a potentially more exciting method is gamification, which 10% of traveller’s claimed would motivate them to create content following a vacation. Additionally, simply making travellers aware of the importance of their reviews is a useful method to take, as one third stated that they’d create content if they thought that it would be of benefit to their family members and friends.
Many destinations worldwide are already using user-generated content on their websites, and for example integrate TripAdvisor reviews into them. However, others still need to catch up and make use of technologies to tap into the inspire stage of travel by influencing travellers indirectly.
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