Travel trends

Travellers reveal their top sources of trip inspiration

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Knowing who travellers are inspired by, and through which channels, means you’re better placed to reach them with more tailored messaging – helping to increase awareness of your services and in turn, conversion.  

We surveyed* a total of 42,513 decision-making travellers across 33 markets to offer you key insights into traveller sentiment and future plans.

Discover who global travellers get their travel ideas from and the platforms they favour so you can win more customers.

Travellers are most inspired by family and friends

Advice from family and friends is the number one source of inspiration for global travellers, with 40% of those surveyed saying that they sought ideas and inspiration here. 

In second place (37%), are search engine results. Ranking highly on search engines remains a strong factor when attracting those on the lookout to take a trip, so enhancing your SEO strategy is one way to attract additional demand.  

The third highest source of inspiration globally are travel booking websites. In fourth, just under a third (30%) of those taking a trip found inspiration from Google Maps or Google Street View. 

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Travel guides, blogs and forums are a go-to for some

Completing the top five sources of inspiration are travel guide websites. Over a quarter (28%) of global travellers looked to be inspired by online travel guides. 

Travel blogs or discussion forums were popular with a fifth (20%) of global travellers. But there were some generational differences – just 9% of Baby Boomers said they were inspired by blogs and forums, compared with 24% of millennials and 23% of Gen Z.

Instagram and Facebook share global top spot

There are a reported 4.9 billion social media users worldwide – so it’s no wonder that social media platforms provide inspiration for travellers. 

For respondents who sought inspiration on social media, the top two sources were Instagram and Facebook (both at 64%). Instagram proved popular among Latin American travellers: 79% said they found the photo and video sharing site inspirational, compared with 59% of Asian travellers and 58% of North American trip takers.

Facebook was more inspirational for Baby Boomers (at 80%) than for Gen Z (46%). This generational divide was seen in reverse for Instagram. While 77% of Gen Z said this was an inspirational source, only 31% of Baby Boomers agreed (with Millennials at 68% and Gen X at 54%). 

When it comes to social media ads, only 5% of Baby Boomers consider these a source of inspiration, compared with 26% of Millennials and 29% of Gen Z. The social media of companies and brands proved inspirational among Gen X (13%), Millennials (21%), and Gen Z (24%).

Completing the top five social media sources of inspiration were YouTube (59%), TikTok (30%) and Twitter/X (21%).

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Is TikTok set to take over?  

While TikTok was only the fourth most cited social media platform for ideas and inspiration (at 30%), this figure looks set to increase given its increasing popularity. 

For those who use TikTok, over half are inspired by travel tips (56%), travel location ideas (54%), activity ideas (52%), restaurant ideas (51%) or ideas of where to stay (51%). 

It remains to be seen if TikTok will overtake Instagram and Facebook as the most popular social media platform for inspiration. Yet it feels safe to say that travellers’ appetites for finding inspiration online looks set to continue into 2024 and beyond. 

Discover more insights to help you attract today’s travellers in our session featuring experts from Google, TikTok and Snapchat. 

Read now

*Research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who had taken a leisure trip in the last 12 months and planned to take a leisure trip in 2023. The sample comprised 42,513 travellers from across 33 countries and territories. Respondents completed an online survey between January and February 2023.

Key takeaways

  • Family and friends are the top sources of inspiration globally
  • Social media of friends and family are nearly four times as influential for Gen Z as they are for Baby Boomers
  • Travel blogs and forums are more popular sources of inspiration among younger audiences
  • Instagram and Facebook share top spot for the most inspirational social media channels

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