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Social networking impacting travel plans, says study

Using online services to plan travels and book tickets and accommodations may have become common, but the increasing use of social networking and smartphones is rapidly impacting the process, a recent survey has revealed.  

While most travel planning sites rely on user reviews of places and facilities, social networking brings unprecedented levels of personalisation which would enable users to receive reviews from people who matter to them, such as friends.
 “We have nearly 60 million reviews of users and 93,000 places across the globe,” said Nikhil Ganju, India manager of the online travel planning site, TripAdvisor, as he explained the travel planning behaviour amongst Indians.

“But the fact that we could connect with your Facebook page, identify your friends and bring to you their reviews and activities would make your travel plan much clearer as those reviews would come from known sources. You no longer have to depend on agents for information like accommodations and instead find out from what your friends say.”

Proliferation of smartphones in the country is also changing the way travel planning is done, Ganju said, as the mobile phones and tablet PCs rather than desktops and laptops become primary devices in terms of choosing places and researching about locations and facilities.

The survey conducted by TripAdvisor last December amongst 1,200 Indians across cities has revealed 65 per cent own smartphones, 53 per cent use at least one travel app and 37 per cent, book flights and accommodations through them. Activities on the mobilephone cover both pre-trip planning and to meet requirements while on travel.

You can read the full article here: Deccan Herald

News: Deccan Herald, Image: 123rf

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