May 13th, 2008 by Sten Franke
Within the channels of user generated media, family holidays are the most frequently mentioned issue. Users in weblogs like to discuss the topic of winter holidays, whereas a vacation in the snow does not enjoy great popularity in online communities. Here, users prefer to talk about cruises, while this topic cannot be found under the bloggers’ top 5 ways of travelling. Moreover, and in contrast to active online community members, bloggers rather choose to have conversations about package tours. Concerning the ways to travel, bloggers and online community members seem to agree on adventure and city travels. In both channels of communication, they are the most frequently discussed.
Top Ways to Travel – Online Communities:
Top Ways to Travel – Weblogs:
Users in weblogs and online communities also agree on the way of booking travels. At this, statements for booking offline have the lion’s share of the topics. About 2/3 of the statements on both channels are allotted to the traditional booking method. This confirms the results of the recent AGOF study. Consumers like to obtain detailed advice in the user generated channels but prefer to book offline in a travel agency.
Booking Methods – Online Communities:
Booking Methods – Weblogs:
The here described booking behaviour indicates the path that marketers have to take in the future. The increasing consumer focus on information concerning products or travels in online domains sets new benchmarks for a successful marketing mix. No matter if it is a large-scale print campaign or an elaborate TV spot – traditional forms of advertisement impress consumers to a lesser and lesser extend. Therefore, it is essential to meet the consumer where he increasingly searches for information. More and more often, customers use portals such as Holidaycheck, TripAdvisor or Opodien in order to obtain information about their potential travel destinations and holiday accommodations before booking. In any case, marketers of the tourism industry should be prepared for this tendency, especially in consideration of the current number of internet users. By now, according to the latest survey of Bitkom, already 63% of the Germans roam the internet.
May 13th, 2008 by Sten Franke
Regarding travels outside Europe, the US and Asia are clearly the main topics in weblogs and online communities. This resulted from the quantitative analysis of consumer comments in the current study. For the intense buzz in the United States, surely the decisive factor is the favourable dollar exchange rate because of which the US has become something like a shopper’s paradise.
In online communities, the African continent ranks third as a potential travel destination, whereas it ranks fifth concerning the overall buzz in weblogs. Bloggers show a greater interest in American Oceania and South America.
This quantitative netnographic study was based on 6500 user opinions in weblogs and online communities concerning the topic of Social Networks. The categorized and evaluated comments originate from ca. 1000 blogs and 400 online communities which have been located with the assistance of the gridmaster technology. Within the scope of this process, the respective channels of communication, topics and the tonality of the comments have been recorded.
The ethority study illustrates the importance of the channels of communication within web 2.0 for the tourism industry. Online communities and weblogs are increasingly used by consumers as relevant sources of information. Furthermore, recommendations, which are exchanged in these channels of communication, exert direct influence on booking decisions. The studies conducted by the American market research institute eMarketer, in collaboration with Deloitte (2007), are able to document this influence by means of their data.