Facebook released a travel study - near and now that looks in detail at the current travel landscape. The travel industry contributes around $2 trillion to the world economy and especially in Europe, travel spend is on the rise, particularly in Germany, the Nordics and the UK. In general, consumers are taking fewer holidays, but those holidays taken are more expensive holidays. For marketers of destinations and tourism businesses it is essential to reach consumers at all stages of travel to ensure that these are considering and maybe even booking them when deciding and booking a high-value holiday (Facebook 2013).

FACEBOOK SUPER USERS

There are a number of Facebook super users that are an indication to where other consumers on the social network will be heading. According to Zuck’s Law of social sharing the amount of sharing that is done today is already more than a year or two ago. However, the things consumers will share in a year will be double of what is shared today. Social sharing is on the rise, as more and more consumers are taking advantage of social networks and the possibility to share content online with friends and families.

TRAVEL AND FACEBOOK

Travel is the biggest vertical on the network according to Facebook. This means that 51% of consumers see vacations as one of the 3 post types they see most on Facebook. 42% of stories that are shared on timelines are actually travel experiences. This demonstrates the importance of travel for the social network. Undoubtedly, Facebook is one of the social networks that marketers take very serious with regards to engaging with consumers and encouraging sharing of travel experiences and stories.

Most consumers that are active users on the social network use it to find out about friend’s and family’s vacations. Consumers are now telling their travel experiences on Facebook through posting pictures and commenting on these images. Interestingly, now 84% of consumers actually agree that friends’ and family’s holidays inspire them and another 64% of Facebook users admits that without Facebook, they would not know their friends had been on vacation.

FACEBOOK AND THE TRAVEL CYCLE

Facebook is an important tool that is used as touch points with consumers along the travel cycle for stages such as dreaming, planing, booking, experiencing and reflecting. For the dream stage, Facebook is aiming to expose consumers with real-time travel experiences that can then spark inspiration and desire for a holiday. For the planning stage, consumers need and want confidence from other users that their decision to book is the right one. Recommendations play a key role. Often, once booked, consumers will share information about that on their timeline. Whilst on holiday, consumers are still posting and sharing their experiences in real-time. Through Facebook and other social networks, consumers can still keep in contact throughout a holiday, making social networks very popular at all stages of travel.

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