YouGov surveyed 10,000 travellers in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) in a bid to discover the influencing factors for travel discovery, as well as where emerging technologies such as virtual reality might fit in.
Interestingly, long-held triggers for a destination such as friends and family offline did not feature in the list of leading factors.
Still, 75% said television shows and content on Facebook were the most common channels for inspiration.
These were followed by 72% for Instagram, 65% for SnapChat, 63% from Twitter and 60% from Pinterest.
Films were cited by 62% of travellers. But, surprisingly, YouTube didn’t feature at all.
The web-hungry folk of MENASA also appear to be giving a warm-ish welcome to virtual reality in the search food-chain.
For example, 51% said they found the idea very appealing of tasting a destination on a VR headset before booking.
In fact (sound the klaxon to agencies), almost two-thirds (64%) said they would visit a retail store to use the headsets.
Perhaps most surprisingly was the lukewarm reaction to newbies such as Uber and Airbnb – both of which are supposedly taking many other parts of the world by storm.
Just 27% and 17% respectively said they found the idea of such services appealing.
The YouGov report says:
“Despite obvious concerns about data security related to predictive planning services, it’s clear their value isn’t being ignored with a significant proportion of respondents willing to pay for such services.
“Perhaps the region isn’t ready quite yet to fully embrace peer-to-peer services, which are relatively well-known but unused.
“Nevertheless, the very nature of their existence on technology-based platforms which link seamlessly to popular inspiration sources such as social media and endless possibilities with predictive technology may prove advantageous for future development and adoption in the region.”