The rise of social media has transformed countless industries including both hospitality and luxury travel. A recent study indicates that more than half of all global luxury travelers are interested in finding opportunities to capture and generate media content when visiting a new location. Social media has impacted luxury travel in numerous ways and proven to be a real game changer in terms of the way travelers choose to research potential destinations and travel plans as well as the types of destinations and activities they are likely to engage in during a trip or holiday.
Word of mouth, reviews based on first-hand experience and other information shared through social media sites and services is quickly changing the way that travelers research potential destinations. Savvy travelers have long based their travel plans and vacation ideas on stories and experiences shared by their friends and associates. Thanks to social media, learning more about specific destinations or finding an overlooked vacation spot or destination has never been easier. With an ever-growing user base and the ability to share more personal details, media and experiences than ever before online, using social media to conduct travel research is a trend that we can expect to see a whole lot more of in the days to come.
Travel Fads and Fashion Destinations
Appearances are important and an increasing number of luxury travelers are choosing to visit the destinations, attractions and points of interest that have gained greater popularity and exposure thanks to social media. Even destinations and travel itineraries that may provide comparable luxury, comfort and opportunities to enjoy the same range of activities are losing out to the latest travel fads and the most fashionable destinations. Bucket lists have also become increasingly popular with seemingly unconventional destinations, such as Antarctica, continuing to grow in popularity thanks to luxury travelers who are eager to post photos of their latest trip or to share media that showcases their past holiday or vacation.
Seeking the Perfect Selfie
While selfie sticks are among the least well-received travel trends in recent years, there is a reason behind their popularity. Thanks to social media, vacation and travel photos can now be shared with the entire world. Luxury travelers have developed a voracious appetite for selfies that showcase famous landmarks and jaw-dropping landscapes and backdrops. While not every traveler is concerned with finding the perfect photo op for their next selfie, there is an ever-growing number of travelers who are willing to alter their itinerary or even plan their entire trip just for the opportunity to take the perfect photograph of themselves.
Influencers and Social-media Marketing Campaigns
Marketing firms and advertisers have also taken notice of this trend, shifting their efforts in order to better leverage influencers. From travel agents to tourist brochures, conventional promotional tactics and outdated marketing techniques are quickly falling out of favor. Social media has proven to be the perfect format for creating and sharing reviews of luxury hotels, airlines and the exclusive destinations and experiences prized by luxury travelers the world over. Sponsored content, stealth marketing and even travel reviews that are part of an overt advertising campaign are all changing the way that the travel industry markets itself.
The rapid pace of innovation, new technology and the constant demand for new features have created a wide range of new social media trends, many of which are still in their infancy. Social media continues to provide new ways for travelers to tell their stories and for businesses to further establish their brand, making it a more attractive promotional tool than ever before. An increasingly digital world means that social media can be expected to have an even bigger impact on luxury travel, one that may lead to even bigger changes in days to come.