Of Asia-Pacific Travelers and Social Media
If you're from the Asia-Pacific region and you've just returned from a trip abroad, chances are, you visited that country and its landmarks based on comments and opinions posted up on Facebook and Twitter.
The Digital Index: Travel and Tourism study, conducted by the public relations firm, Text 100, showed that the trend is a growing influence, with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter becoming decisive factors for determining travel destinations, vacation activities and attractions, as well as hotels and restaurants to visit on holidays. Despite this surging trend, the survey did mention that 48% of the Asia-Pacific consumers still employ traditional travel agents in helping them plan their holidays.
In Malaysia, the trend is increasingly obvious, as they base their travel decision upon peer experience and digital reviews that come in ahead of travel agents, while personal recommendations from friends and family came in top, with 78% of the survey's respondents rating as a top deciding factor.
“Widespread Asia-Pacific enthusiasm for social media is definitely not a signal for the travel industry to invest solely in digital,” said Anne Costello, Text100's Regional Director, APAC. “Travel and tourism operators need to integrate their traditional and new communications channels, but more importantly they need to focus on delivering content which their customers actually want to receive. Stand-alone promotions and loyalty, for example, don't seem to be resonating with consumers any longer; they need to be part of an integrated communications approach.”
This growing trend also reflects upon how travelers of today use technology. According to the survey, 89% of Asia-Pacific travelers use travel apps on their smartphones or tablets while holiday, simply because they found it harder to 'switch off' during the holidays. This 'always on' tendency has thus led to many holiday goers bringing and doing their work even while on vacation.
“The presence of the mobile device is quietly but dramatically changing how we travel,” Costello said. “As fast adopters of digital technology when it comes to travel, Asia-Pacific consumers are experiencing more benefits and challenges alike than the rest of the world.”
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