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Social Media in Travel and Tourism - Thematic Research

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  • 48 Pages
  • November 2023
  • Region: Global
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 4855979
Social media refers to internet-based services that allow users to create and share content, such as texts, links, photos, audio, and video, using a computer or mobile phone. The term is typically used to describe various online services, including prominent platforms such as Facebook, WeChat, X (formerly Twitter), Snapchat, Instagram, ShareChat, YouTube, Reddit, Pinterest, and WhatsApp. Smaller platforms, including decentralized apps (dApps), are also increasingly prominent in the social media space. DApps operate autonomously on peer-to-peer networks without needing a trusted service provider. They grant users more control over data by enabling anonymity and limiting data centralization. Social media has revolutionized marketing and promotion in the travel and tourism sector by providing a cost-effective and far-reaching platform for businesses to showcase their offerings. Unlike traditional marketing channels, social media allows travel businesses to create highly targeted and personalized campaigns that resonate with specific demographics and interests. Travel experiences are inherently visual and emotional, making social media an ideal medium for sharing captivating content. Through high-quality images, immersive videos, and compelling narratives, travel businesses can evoke emotions, such as wanderlust, excitement, and awe, in potential customers. The power of visual storytelling can transport viewers to breathtaking destinations, enticing them to envision themselves as part of the experience.

This thematic research report takes an in-depth look at the theme of Social media and the impact it has on the travel and tourism industry. This report analyzes the players impacted by this theme alongside the contributing trends, negative destination trends, unintended opportunities, and trends that have emerged as a result of Social media. It then dives deep into an industry analysis, presenting several real-life case studies looking at how destinations and companies have responded to the impact of this theme on their operations. Recommendations are then offered for the travel sector, alongside a description of companies mentioned throughout.

Key Highlights

Social media has transformed customer engagement in the travel and tourism sector, allowing businesses to build authentic relationships with their audience. The direct and real-time nature of social media platforms enables businesses to interact with customers on a personal level, enhancing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Travelers increasingly turn to social media to seek information, resolve queries, and voice concerns. Businesses that provide prompt and helpful responses demonstrate a commitment to customer service, instilling confidence in potential customers. Social media is especially valuable during travel, as travelers can seek assistance while on the go, leading to a positive customer experience.

Social media platforms have transformed the way travelers discover and seek inspiration for their next adventures. Through the use of hashtags, geotags, and content sharing, users can easily explore a wide array of destinations, attractions, and experiences from all around the world. Travel businesses and influencers play a pivotal role in showcasing destinations through visually engaging content, effectively acting as virtual travel guides for users. Social media enables travelers to access a vast repository of destination information in one place. By following travel businesses, influencers, and travel enthusiasts, users are exposed to a diverse range of destinations they may not have considered otherwise.

Social media provides travel businesses with valuable opportunities to conduct competitor analysis and benchmark their social media strategies against industry peers. Understanding what competitors are doing well, where they may be falling short, and how their audience engages with their content helps businesses refine their own social media approaches. By monitoring competitor profiles and content, travel businesses can gain insights into successful tactics used by their competitors. This includes analyzing the type of content that garners the most engagement, the frequency and timing of posts, and the use of specific hashtags or campaigns.


  • This thematic report provides an overview of the impact Social media has on the travel sector and seeks to understand some of the contributory factors.
  • The key trends within this theme are split into three categories: technology trends, macroeconomic trends, and regulatory trends.
  • Several case studies are included to analyze the multiple ways countries and companies have responded to the impact of this theme’s growth and what they are doing to grow with this theme.

Reasons to Buy

  • Understand the current Social media trends within the travel landscape today and how these will escalate in the near future.
  • Assess how travel and tourism companies such as tour operators, OTAs and DMOs are utilizing social media to drive revenues.
  • Acknowledge the potential pitfalls of using social media by understanding the social, cultural, and environmental effects on the destination.
  • Discover recommendations for businesses involved in social media
  • The thematic research ecosystem is a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors. It has a proven track record of identifying the important themes early, enabling companies to make the right investments ahead of the competition, and secure that all-important competitive advantage.
  • All across the travel and tourism supply chain, now have an opportunity to capitalize on social media, and there are notable examples of this. Therefore, all should buy this report to fully understand how this theme will continue to be a key theme in the future travel landscape.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Players
  • Thematic Briefing
  • Trends
  • Technology trends
  • Macroeconomic trends
  • Regulatory trends
  • The Impact of Social Media on Travel & Tourism
  • Travel & Tourism Challenges
  • Industry Analysis
  • Market size and growth forecasts
  • Case Studies
  • Airbnb's ‘Live There’ campaign
  • Hawaii Tourism Authority's ‘Let Hawaii Happen’ campaign
  • National Geographic's ‘Wanderlust’ series
  • Qantas' ‘QantasExplorer’
  • Southwest Airlines' ‘Transfarency’ Campaign
  • Timeline
  • Signals
  • M&A trends
  • Patent trends
  • Company filing trends
  • Hiring trends
  • Social media trends
  • Value Chain
  • Content layer
  • Distribution layer
  • Data layer
  • Services layer
  • Customer layer
  • Companies
  • Public companies
  • Private companies
  • Travel & tourism companies
  • Sector Scorecard
  • Travel Intermediaries sector scorecard
  • Glossary
  • Further Reading
  • Thematic Research Methodology
  • About the Analyst
  • Contact the Publisher 79

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • Airbnb
  • Alibaba
  • Alphabet
  • Alphabet (YouTube)
  • Amazon
  • Amazon (Twitch)
  • Apple
  • Baidu Tieba
  • BlaBlaCar
  • Booking.com
  • Britannia Hotels
  • ByteDance (TikTok
  • Douyin)
  • Despegar
  • Dubai Tourism
  • eDreams
  • Expedia
  • Foursquare
  • G Adventures
  • GameSpot
  • Grab
  • Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)
  • Hays Travel
  • India Forums
  • Instant Bloomberg
  • Intrepid Group
  • Jet2
  • Kakao (KakaoTalk)
  • Kaskus
  • Kickstarter
  • KLM
  • Kuaishou
  • Line
  • Lyft
  • Mail.ru (VKontakte)
  • MakeMyTrip
  • Meta (Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Messenger
  • WhatsApp)
  • Microsoft (LinkedIn)
  • Microsoft (Skype
  • Teams)
  • Mixi
  • National Geographic
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Pinterest
  • Qantas
  • Quora
  • Reddit
  • Roblox
  • Ryanair
  • Salesforce (Slack)
  • Secret Escapes
  • Seera
  • Shopify (Reputon)
  • Signal
  • Sina (Weibo)
  • Snap (Snapchat)
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Stack Overflow
  • TaskRabbit
  • Telegram
  • Teletext Holidays
  • Tencent (WeChat)
  • Travel Buddy
  • Trip.com
  • TripAdvisor
  • TUI
  • Tuniu
  • Uber
  • Wamazing
  • Wego
  • WestJet
  • WeWork
  • X (formerly Twitter)
  • XDA Developers
  • Xiaohongshu
  • Xing
  • Yelp
  • YY
  • Zhihu
  • Zipcar
  • Zomato