Travelzoo predicts the future success of tourism destinations and products will lie in the travel industry’s ability to recognise the importance of social media as a source of inspiration.

The company says that today’s traveller – especially at the younger end of the market – expects to be able to experience and share an ‘Instagrammable holiday’ with friends and family back home, no matter where they are in the world.

This is based on the findings from its recent Autumn Travel Trends Survey, which reveals that how a holiday photo will look on social media platforms is an important consideration for 55% of those born after 1996 (Generation Z) when choosing a destination.

While the appeal of social bragging declines going back each generation, Millennials (those born between 1987 and 1995) are highly focused on the photogenic appeal of their holiday choice (42%), so destinations and travel companies should bear this in mind when planning things such as new hotels, aircraft, restaurants, airports and public spaces.

In terms of the power of social media to influence holiday bookings, almost two thirds of Generation Z use social media for inspiration on what to book. For Millennials and Gen Z, Facebook and Instagram are the most powerful channels, with Facebook marginally more influential for Millennials.

Travelzoo believes hotels, restaurants and destinations should curate their own content to share on these social media platforms as a way to engage with a younger audience and win more customers.

The company's UK general manager, Joel Brandon-Bravo, said: “Most people’s social media feeds are full of images of friends and family enjoying the sunshine and many hoteliers are getting wise to the power of making their properties as ‘Instagram-ready’ as possible. One example of this is Thomas Cook’s Casa Cook resorts, which the tour operator has created in a bid to attract a younger, cooler, savvy traveller to the brand. Modern gyms and nutritious food choices appeal to the health-conscious modern traveller, and the hotels are designed to feel authentic and provide the perfect backdrop to your selfie – a deliberate move away from the traditional package holiday hotel.”

While the appetite to share the holiday experience on social media shows no sign of abating, the survey also reveals an awareness of the benefits of switching off digitally. Despite their love of social media, 53% of Millennials and 45% of those born after 1996 say the idea of totally disconnecting digitally on holiday is appealing to them, while more than 60% of Generation Z say switching off from social media and emails would help them recharge more on holiday.

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