Holidaymakers take travel tips from strangers
Holidaymakers would rather take advice from a total stranger when planning their next trip than listen to a travel agent, according to a new survey.
A quarter of all those quizzed said they were more influenced by reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor and social media sites than they were by TV ads or direct mail leaflets.
The results are perhaps not surprising as the majority of those who took part in the survey booked their trips online rather than via a travel agent. Ask customers on the high street where they go for good advice and they're probably more likely to head to a traditional travel agent.
However, the report does show the value of researching holidays and travel on the internet, which is no longer viewed as simply a place to book cheap flights.
Many people prefer to browse websites where they can get feedback from other holidaymakers to flicking through holiday brochures that only tell them what the travel company wants them to know.
The Social Travel report, by media agency Total Media, revealed half of over 45 year-olds and 40 per cent of over 25-year-olds post advice on websites to recommend hotels and resorts or to warn off would-be visitors.
The report showed price comparison website Expedia was the leading online destination for holidaymakers planning long trips, followed by review site TripAdvisor and then Lastminute.com.
Ebookers, Lonelyplanet, Travelocity, Teletext, Opodo, Yahoo!, the Foreign Office, BBC, Telegraph and Daily Mail were also popular with those researching trips.