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Social media is powering the UK’s holiday inspiration as we use friend’s Facebook photos to plan the perfect trip

•    Half of Brits admit their friend’s social media pictures are most likely to dictate where they go next on holiday
•    Over a third of us are inspired to book a trip as a direct result of seeing pal’s holiday snaps on social media
•    59% feel envious and jealous when seeing their friends’ social media holiday pics
•    Nearly a third haven’t read a holiday brochure for over 10 years
•    Alaska and Disneyland amongst top 10 places the nation is inspired to visit because of social media

A new study released today by ebookers.com, one of Europe’s largest travel agencies, reveals how social media feeds have become digital travel brochures, fuelling our holiday desires. With 35% of Brits confessing to booking a holiday on a whim after scrolling through friend’s travel pictures on sites such as Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp.

With 1.8 billion pictures uploaded onto Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Flickr* every day, the study reveals how the power of recommendation and ‘digital envy’ means we are now turning to social media for our holiday inspiration, over more traditional sources such as lavish professional photo shoots.

Responding to this thirst for digital holiday guidance, ebookers.com has launched a new online inspirational tool called the Where Next Finder that helps users find their perfect, personalised getaway. To enhance the consumer benefits and social influence on holiday decisions ebookers has built the World’s First Social Travel Brochure, which pulls inspirational holiday photos from social media feeds, allowing travels fans the opportunity to have their own photos featured in the Where Next Finder by including the hashtag #wherenext.

Of the 2,000 adults polled, half (50%) revealed that a friend’s social media snaps are most likely to influence their decision on where to visit next, ahead of travel agents (20%), media advertising (10%), celebrity hotspots (5%), famous films (4%) and even tips from close family, friends and colleagues (30%). The once obligatory travel brochure could be consigned to the recycle bin forever with almost a third (30%) admitting they haven’t picked one up in at least 10 years.

The study revealed how this constant reel of digital holiday images leaves 59% of the country feeling envious and jealous when seeing friends’ social media holiday pics and for some, the perfect trip is now all about being seen in the latest hotspots.

Consequently, 36% confessed to only sharing holiday snaps they think social media followers will like, share or comment on; 10% admitted only sharing getaway pics on social media to ensure followers know they’re visiting the trendiest hotspots; whilst 22% admitted they would book a trip if they’d seen that lots of friends had gone there on social media.

Commenting on the study, ebookers.com spokesperson Jessica Craker, said: “The results highlight how social media driven recommendation is increasingly powerful and an influential information source for digitally savvy consumers. The Where Next Finder will allow customers to personally create their dream holiday, and our aim is to harness the power of social media images so travelers from around the world can share their unique photos and experiences, whilst inspiring others.”

The new ebookers Where Next Finder features search criteria users can personalise such as City or Resort, Relaxed or Active and Family or Romantic and an algorithm that factors in the four weather seasons, to help jetsetters fine-tune their getaway decisions from over 300 global destinations.

Marking the tool’s launch, ebookers is hosting the World’s First Social Travel Brochure competition, inviting people to include #wherenext when sharing any snaps on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr for the chance to be included in the brochure, where the best will scoop the prize of ebookers BONUS+ cash rewards to redeem on a hotel stay anywhere in the world. Travel fans looking for holiday inspiration can use the tool by visiting inspiration.ebookers.com

Whilst other notable findings from the research were:

•    The top 10 holiday destinations respondents have been inspired to visit because of social media:
1.    New York
2.    Thailand
3.    Dubai
4.    Florida
5.    Ibiza
6.    Bali
7.    Disneyland
8.    Alaska
9.    Mexico
10.    Rome
•    (49%) of respondents pack at least a mobile phone capable of taking images AND a normal camera in their suitcase.
•    Over a third (37%) of respondents now only save holiday shots on social media sites instead of electronic storage devices.
•    Only a nostalgic 6% admitted to now getting their getaway snaps processed or made into physical albums, whilst 43% confessed they hadn’t made a physical album for at least five years.

*Source: Taken from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers research estimates, based on publically disclosed data from 2014

For further information please contact Nadia Goodman or Clare Hughes on 020 7100 7100

About ebookers.com

ebookers.com, one of Europe’s leading online travel agents, prides itself on making booking decisions easier and providing honest and impartial advice to travellers. ebookers is a brand that is owned and operated by Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW). It has origins going back 20 years and close relationships with leading travel suppliers of hotels and airlines. It offers a huge selection of choice from over 250 airlines, over 110,000 hotels around the globe and car hire from most of the major international brands. ebookers.com sells a full range of travel products online and over the telephone through 24/7 call centres.

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