Social media has become a dynamic way to attract guests in recent years with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and many other platforms exploding onto the scene. Popular among Generation Y travelers, these forums are used as an online guest feedback tool, a place to share pictures while on a trip or even find recommendations for things to do on vacation.
However, when looking at Luxury Travel Trends in 2014, social media does not quite stack up to a review site or the traditional word of mouth endorsement from friends, family or an acquaintance.
Luxury Link, a leading luxury travel website, conducted a survey of 1,600 discerning and high-income (household income over $100,000) travelers to garner some insight about how these individuals will travel in 2014. Here are some of those numbers, statistics and trends:
-Among global respondents, 29.7% stated they are most interested in visiting Europe, while 27.3% are Caribbean-bound. Of those individuals traveling to Europe, 60.5% listed major cities like London, Paris and Rome as a primary area of interest. Caribbean travelers will head to Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands and Saint Lucia.
-Two countries, Croatia and Portugal, where tabbed as up-and-coming travel destinations in 2014.
-Staying active is important to high-end travelers with 46.3% of respondents planning to incorporate adventures such as hiking, sailing or SCUBA diving into their trips.
-Foodie-focused travelers make up 40.7% of the survey, and try to center their trips on fine dining and/or cooking classes.
-Travelers were asked to rank the relative importance of five travel resources in the vacation-planning process. The results are as follows:
1) Review Sites (TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.)
2) Booking Sites (Luxury Link, Kayak, Orbitz, etc.)
3) Word of mouth/personal recommendations
4) Media Content (TV shows, online videos, blogs, newspapers)
5) Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)
-Must have hotel amenities in 2014 include:
1) Free WiFi (75.7% of respondents)
2) Early Check-In/Late Check Out (53.6%)
3) Free Breakfast (47.1%)
If you consider your property to be a luxury destination, you do not want to disregard social media as an advertising tool completely. However, it is also important to dedicate your advertising dollars to mediums that will attract high-end guests. A presence in a variety of mediums will keep your property visible, and hopefully keep travelers coming through your doors.