- Seascapes and natural scenery are our most shared holiday snaps
- Social media’s influence on travel bookings is growing – comparable with adverts and travel agents
6 October 2021, New research by Discover Ferries, the industry body which represents 13 UK ferry operators, has shown social media posts, videos and images continue to be a growing influence on people’s travel choices – with natural landscapes and waterside views the most appealing to would-be holidaymakers.
Social media influences destination choice
According to the research, social media images and adverts are now as influential to people booking their holidays as a range of more established channels. More than a third (38%) agree that social media images have influenced their decision to book a holiday destination, and 41% say the same for online and social media advertising – making it as effective as television and magazine adverts (39%), travel agent recommendations (38%), and newspapers/magazine articles (37%) for booking holiday destinations.1
Only friend and family recommendations (58%), online travel reviews (50%) and seeing destinations featured in TV and film (46%) carry more weight for people looking for their next holiday.1
Holiday snaps on the rise
The influence of social media is shown by the fact that more than half (57%) of people share at least one photo online every day of their holiday – and one in seven (14%) share 10 or more pictures each day they’re away.2
Interestingly, this is not limited to the youngest group of travellers. The research shows a comparable appetite for social media posting on holiday among 35-44-year-olds (almost a quarter of whom post at least 10 pictures a day), 25-34-year-olds (24%) and 16-24-year-olds (26%).2
Beach, sea and natural landscapes top the photo list
Seven in 10 (69%) respondents who use social media say they share aspects of their holiday on their channels. And, when it came to the types of images they share, beach, sea and waterfront pictures (25%), and spectacular natural landscapes (21%) topped the list – on average, Brits post five images every month of these locations.
People from the North East (35%) are most likely to share images of the beach and sea when it comes to holiday shots, while those from Northern Ireland (30%) share the most natural scenery pictures.
The research also found that the pictures people share themselves are also reflective of what influences their own travel choices. When asked what type of holiday images people found most appealing, again sea and beach (28%) and natural scenery (25%) were the most popular choices among those who use social media.
Both types of images were particular popular among the 35-44 and 45-54 age groups, highlighting the growing influence of social media across all ages when it comes to planning travel and holidays.
Ferry Instagram-able moments
Ferry travel gives holidaymakers access to the sights and memorable experiences that people are searching for on social media. Passengers can take in stunning ocean views and beautiful natural landscapes up close, in a way that other forms of transport simply can’t offer. Whether it’s that first glimpse of your destination, spotting marine life in the open water or taking in iconic landmarks from the water, travelling by ferry offers the incredible photo opportunities sought out by social media users.
To further inspire social media users who love to travel, Discover Ferries has released its recommendations to capture Ferry Instagram-able Moments. The guide shares the most spectacular ship to shore views found in British waters, special moments to capture on board and tips for sharing the ferry best experiences online.
Abby Penlington, Director at Discover Ferries, comments on the findings: “It’s clear that social media is an extremely valuable tool for the travel industry, not only to reach new customers directly but also to harness the recommendations and enthusiasm captured in user generated content. The volume of holiday pictures shared and the influence they have on people’s plans, shows how effective these platforms are in consumer decision making and where they sit in the context of traditional advertising and marketing methods. And judging by the number of pictures people tend to post, we’re likely to only see an increase in how much people use social media to share their experiences and discover their next adventure.
“With more than 80 different routes from around the UK to a variety of destinations, the scenery ranges from snow-capped mountains to white sand beaches and uninterrupted sunsets on the horizon to urban landscapes. And onboard restaurants, bars, passenger lounges and open deck spaces mean travellers can enjoy the view while dining, relaxing or stretching their legs. By choosing ferry holidays, passengers can travel with confidence and comfort, and take in some of the most stunning vistas the British Isles, Ireland and Europe have to offer.”
All figures stated in this release are derived from research for Discover Ferries, carried out online by Censuswide on 26th to 31st August 2021 amongst a panel resulting in 2,004 responses from general consumers in the UK.All the research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines.
1 Statistic combines ‘strongly agree’ and ‘somewhat agree’ answer options.
2 Statistic combines ’10-15’, ’16-20’, 21-49’, ’50-75’ and ‘76+’ answer options.