Given the growing uptake of mobile devices worldwide, and their use to access social media sites, users now have constant access to the sites. As such, with users always ‘logged in’, social networking is increasingly becoming ingrained into people’s day-to-day lives. Tnooz reported on the findings of a study looking into the social networking tendencies of travellers within the Asia-Pacific region, and found this to be very apparent, particularly in the Indian market.
Social Networking on Holiday
With the integration of the Internet and social media into people’s every moment and the increasing reliance on digital technology, many people take their holidays as an opportunity to go on a ‘technology detox’. As the study shows, this is certainly not the case with Indian travellers. Not only do Indians tend not to switch off from their digital lives while on vacation, but 42% of travellers were found to actually log in more when away than they did at home. Of the 1,000 Indian travellers surveyed, 28% logged into their social networks more than once a day and 25% logged in, updated their statuses and looked through their news feeds every couple of hours.
Staying connected was found to be extremely important to Indian travellers, with merely 1% not feeling a need to contact anyone at home whilst on holiday. While 50% communicated with friends and family back home about their trip via Skype, traditional phone calls were a very popular means of communication (72%). In terms of their social networks of choice when sharing photos of their holidays, almost three quarters of travellers opted for Facebook.
Looking back into the factors that influence Indian travellers at the planning stage of their travel, the study found that they turn to friends for personal recommendations regarding picking their holiday destinations. This was also observed amongst travellers from South East Asian countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. Contrastingly, travellers in Australia and New Zealand looked to travel company websites for their holiday inspiration.
With regard to destinations and tourism organisations targeting travellers from the Asia-Pacific region, and India in particular, these findings emphasise the importance of peers on travellers from this market, and as a result of social networking. A strong social media presence and online reviews of the destination can be especially influential on travellers from the region. In this case, in terms of the social media used, it is key to encourage sharing via the destination’s channels, for travellers to inspire and influence other potential travellers.
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