UK holiday parks and campsites need to be aware of the growing influence social media and review sites have on someone’s decision to book a holiday on-line, a report has concluded.
Nearly one third of all Britons are in some way influenced by social media in their holiday decision making, the BDRC Continental Holiday Trends report claims.
And in its breakdown of holiday trends in 2015, the research agency found that when looking specifically at 20-24 year olds’ holiday booking habits, the number who were influenced by social media during the process rose to almost half.
“Social media sites are a growing influence in selling an experience, particularly Facebook and Instagram which can use imagery to create an emotional connection,” said the report.
“User-generated promotion is also important. Around half use social media on their phone on their holiday with nearly 2 in 10 uploading photos. Notably social media use is not restricted to younger generations with a fifth of adults aged 55+ also influenced by this medium.
“Destinations should encourage check-ins, photo opportunities and offer free wifi to facilitate the process.”
The report highlights that 20-34 year-olds’ extensive use of social media doesn’t end once they’ve booked a holiday, and are more likely to use Facebook to ‘check-in’ and share photos and experiences. This, the report said, was driven because this age group was “experience-hungry” and had a “fear of missing out”.
“Tellingly, Generation Y (20-34) are most likely to holiday in the UK because it’s cheaper, unlike older generations who do so because of the UK’s appeal. The onus is on traditional destinations to communicate what ‘tick-box’ experiences they have to offer,” the report said.
The important role of review sites
Another ever-increasing factor in whether someone decides to make an on-line booking was review sites, such as TripAdvisor.
“Review sites have an increased influence on bookings in 2015, with 7 in 10 using online reviews to help decide the holiday destination for at least some of the holidays they take. Review sites are relatively age neutral, with similar influence across generations,” the report stated.
“There has been a slight increase in the perception of trust and accuracy of online review sites, although this has remained fairly constant since 2014.”
The BDRC report also disputed one common misconception that people to choose to holiday in the UK because it’s cheaper.
“‘Less hassle to organise’ was the most popular reason given for choosing a UK holiday over a holiday overseas, not cost,” it said.
“‘Not enough time to go abroad’ was also cited. This matches research elsewhere which paints a picture of an increasingly time-pressured and impatient society, who when faced with dozens of reviews and booking options, opt for the path of convenience. For outbound operators the onus should be on simplifying the booking and research process. For the domestic market it is important to communicate the ease and familiarity of staying at home.”
Do you need help understanding and managing social media? At Pitched we can help put together a social media strategy for your holiday park or and campsite that will engage perfectly with your audience, building up an affinity with your brand and, ultimately, driving customers to your website.
Call Pitched today on 01726 418 118 or get in touch to see what we can do for you.