Social Media’s Rising Influence on the Travel Industry

Social Media’s Rising Influence on the Travel Industry

Social media has been around for over a decade now, but its influence on our purchasing decisions and preferences continues to grow. As travel is an inherently social activity, this influence is particularly present for our industry.

Consumers are constantly inspired by stunning landscapes, intriguing dishes and adventurous experiences online, providing brands with an opportunity to connect and amplify their messages to reach a wider audience. As new social platforms emerge, the importance of engaging with travelers in areas where they seek inspiration only grows.

Social media as a source of inspiration

While family, friends and travel suppliers are the most popular sources of travel inspiration, our 2023 Traveler Value Index showed that social media is right behind them, with 35% of consumers saying they use social networks to get inspiration from travel. The use of social media as a source of inspiration for travel has surpassed more traditional outlets, such as travel agents (29%), media publications such as newspapers or magazines (26%) and entertainment, such as TV shows and movies (25%).

53% of Gen Z consumers say they use social media for travel inspiration

But the influence of social media is much more present when looking at younger generations. For consumers under 40, 50% say they use social media as a source of inspiration, just behind family (52%). For Gen Z, social media is the most popular source of inspiration, with 53% saying they turn to social media for inspiration, meaning a strong social presence is essential to connect with young travellers.

From a regional perspective, consumers in South Africa and Mexico are particularly influenced by social issues. In South Africa, 59% of consumers turn to social media for inspiration and 54% in Mexico.

Designing successful social media campaigns

To connect with travelers who find inspiration on their social feeds, it is essential to create original, innovative and authentic social media campaigns. This allows your brand to not only be visible to travelers, but also to stand out in a memorable way. We have worked with many brands to develop social media campaigns and strategies that resonate and use social channels to amplify other creative elements of campaigns.

Destination Canada explores TikTok

Destination Canada, Canada’s NTO (National Tourism Organization), worked with our team to leverage Expedia Group’s social media channels, including TikTok, in a summer social media campaign targeting travelers from major US states.

The 15-second TikTok video showcased the 5 things you can’t miss in Canada, including the country’s most exciting sights and experiences, such as its beautiful lakes, lush rainforests and Toronto’s iconic cityscape. Social video has generated impressive results, reaching over 2 million users in major US markets and generating over 3.5 million impressions, further proving that small social content can have a big impact. on marketing campaigns.

Abu Dhabi creates an immersive experience, promoted by social networks

Our campaign with the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism took a more immersive approach by following the adventures of social media influencer Ellie as she explored Abu Dhabi. Our in-house creative agency has developed an original video episode for “The Next Turn” series. In the episode “City of Surprises”, travel buyers can watch, explore and book, all on the same page to effectively connect inspiration to a buyable booking experience.

The video is amplified via social media, using short trailers to hook viewers and entice them to learn more. Ellie also shares the content on her social media, further extending the message to her trusted audience and encouraging bookings.

Using social media marketing to inspire and influence travel

By using our social media solutions for travel marketing, you can tap into a highly targeted audience of travelers across our brands like Expedia, Vrbo and Some of the solutions we offer include:

Social integration packages to turn standard ads into a native social experience on travelers’ social feeds. Instagram stories, which motivate travelers seeking inspiration and increase engagement with your brand. Co-branded videos that capture travelers’ interest with compelling video content. Personalized social promotion across multiple platforms to create the most engaging social experience while telling your brand story.

These social media solutions are designed to help your brand stand out in our highly engaged travel community. As the popularity of social media continues to grow and travelers turn to new platforms for inspiration and guidance, ensuring your brand has a solid social strategy is a recipe for success.

To learn more about our social media strategies and how we can help your brand, contact us today. Or, to learn more about the latest trends your brand should pay attention to, download our 2023 Traveler Value Index.

Download the report.

About Expedia Group Media Solutions

Expedia Group Media Solutions is a global travel advertising platform that connects marketers to hundreds of millions of travelers across Expedia Group brands. With our exclusive access to over 70 petabytes of Expedia Group traveler search and booking data, we provide advertisers with actionable insights, sophisticated targeting and comprehensive results reporting. Our suite of solutions includes Display, Sponsored Ads, Audience Extension, Cooperative Campaigns, and Custom Creative Campaigns, all designed to meet the goals of our advertising partners and add value to travel buyers on our brand sites around the world. With a consultative approach and over 20 years of travel and media experience, we help our advertising partners inspire, engage and convert travelers for meaningful results. For more information, visit

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