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Published on : Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The dramatic growth of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in recent years is increasingly being felt in the travel and tourism sector. Social media are getting more and more important to help consumers plan and enjoy travel as they switch to online and mobile technology, speakers agreed at the 20th World Travel Monitor Forum. Meanwhile, travel bloggers are gradually winning influence as new voices in the travel business, too.
About 40% of travellers said social network comments influenced their travel planning while 50% actually based their travel plans on other people’s reviews and experiences, according to a Google survey in 2011, Javier González-Soria, founder of ConnectedToGo and a former Google sales executive said.
Consumers are using technology more intensively than ever to talk about their holidays, show pictures and videos, exchange ideas about possible holiday trips and seek opinions and reviews of destinations, hotels, attractions and countless other travel-related activities.
Travellers are socially connected not only before and after but also increasingly during their trips thanks to mobile devices. In response, the tourism industry should use social media much more intensively, he recommended. In particular, the travel industry had to respond to problems or criticism honestly and transparently, and not hide or avoid true answers, he emphasised.