A recent study by Ad-ology Research found that over half of US Internet users have not used the Internet to research travel-related topics, preferring instead to do so offline and through other means. Not surprisingly, Airfare was the number one topic Internet users researched, followed close behind by hotel and motel rates and availability. Golf vacations were the topic least likely to be researched, with only 2.7% of respondents claiming that have ever searched for such info.
Meanwhile, it seems that social media does not have a great effect on travel decisions. Only 23% of respondents claimed that they had been somewhat or significantly influenced by blogs, micro-blogs, forums, and social networks. However, companies have tended to have a high success rate with users who can in fact be influenced.
For example, both United Airlines and JetBlue have utilized Twitter to post cheap airfares, and have had significant success in influencing visitors to book a ticket over people who have not visited the micro-blogging service.
Source: eMarketer, September 15, 2009