Online Media Influencing Travel Decisions

    September 3, 2009

Less than half (39%) of Americans are using online media to research their choice of travel services, according to a new report from Ad-ology Research.

Hotel websites were found to have the most influence on consumers while online content also influenced 34 percent to visit local attractions like amusement parks, zoos, and concerts.

Suitcase with Money

For consumers who are traveling, cost and value continue to be the most important considerations, with the most researched topics being airfares and hotel/motel rates.

Online media topped traditional media, which influenced 27 percent of travelers and 32.7 percent of those visiting local attractions. Social media was the most influential on the 18-to-24 year old demographic.

"People are still traveling, despite the economy, but they’re certainly doing their research before they go," said C. Lee Smith, president and CEO ofAd-ology Research.

"Through their sites, service providers have the ability to give consumers lots of information, and that helps the consumer feel like they’ve made a smart choice,"

Other key findings include:

  • 20.6% of consumers are influenced by positive comments on sites such as
  • Of traditional media, magazines were the most influential for travel services; newspapers were the most influential for local attractions
  • More than 40% of consumers list safety as an important factor in selecting a local attraction