Facebook and Twitter Instead of Postcards

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Now it seems, social networks are becoming popular as ways that holidaymakers and travellers stay in contact with their friends and relations back home. 37% of people according to a survey for ITB use Facebook and similar things to let people know about their travel. What happened to the postcard? And where does this research come from? The biggest travel trade show in the world happens in Germany and is called ITB. They commission research amongst travel experts throughout the world and this is one of the conclusions they have drawn.
According to them, about 75 million holidaymakers in the US use social media to make reservations or research their travel ideas. They also use it to discuss their ideas with friends. Are telephones and mobiles redundant now? No, it seems that the use of mobiles, smart phones and the like are opening new opportunities. In Japan, says the research, smart phones are already being used in about 20% of all bookings. Will that happen in Europe? Surely the costs we have to pay for roaming charges when we travel is going to affect the growth of smart phones usage as we travel? If charges came down then I can believe this might happen. Until then, mobile phone apps that remind me of flights or hotel bookings are fine. But to use a mobile as a way of saying I’m having a great time and wish you were here is unlikely. At least for me.
The research points out one other feature. Social networks are not viewed as being as reliable as the information we get from friends and colleagues. Or even travel brochures. This is not new thinking. People have been aware of this for some time. And now some people are questioning the value of things like Twitter. When people tweet that they are at such and such a hotel or restaurant there is an idea that celebrities might be being paid to advertise the place. Should this be true and we have advertising embedded as fact, then believing what is said may diminish further. We know that there are faked hotel reviews despite the best efforts of some websites to weed them out. But that shouldn’t affect postcards posted on social media. Unless holidaymakers get paid to say that the Costa Lotsmore and Ripoff-on-Sea are great places to go. And that won’t happen, will it?
So is this research star gazing or will these things come to pass? Answers on a postcard, sorry mobile or social networking site please.

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