Do Travel Writers Have this Much Clout?

"More than half of all travelers changed their plans [my italics] after researching their trips on social media sites." survey

What, ten minutes on tripadvisor or FB and they actually changed their travel plans? Do we travel writers have this much influence on people? 

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  • Very good points, Allan; really, good points all. For me, the issue is, how much are travelers influenced by Joe (or Josephine)  Sixpack's evaluation of Aspen? 

  • While I've never done polls, I do casually sample about 10,000 folks who meet me at various speaking events and trade shows...mostly moms who plan trips for their family.

    They (and I) most often look at hotel reviews, more specifically, a resort property with many on-site amenities to consider into the cost. Some still go to their original lodging choice, but are particular asking NOT to be placed in a certain "older" bldg or resort location because of bad reviews.

    And, as far as attractions, if a family is budgeting only one or two major pricey attractions, reviews help them discern which ones to choose from a bunch.

  • Yes, I always research hotels, restaurants and places and a good writer just might change my mind either way.


  • I guess i am the other half that doesnt change my plans despite mini researching bout where i wanna go. I guess ppl change their plans as they dont really have a plan. For me as a traveler between my job, i normally just look at the world map and see where i would like to get to know a local and their culture. No plans.. just make my way there. I luv the unknown, so come what may.. it'll be good :)

  • Really? Changed their plans? Okay, plans, but what about actual travel? 

    I know people who plan all sorts of stuff, but they don't do anything. They compile lists and make plans, and sit on their sofas grumbling about this and that.

    So if someone switches a hotel last minute, then that's price-driven. That isn't driven by someone's golden haiku on Twitter.

    If someone switches a destination how much is that costing? Because they have to switch tickets, or they're within driving distance. Again, if within driving distance that's price or an event.

    And who are the people answering their survey? Were they offered a contest entry for answering? Oddly enough in my morning paper I read two articles referring to political polls. Well, who's answering those? I was at a dinner party on Thursday and five of the six people had cell or smart phones. The one who made a fortune in technology doesn't have a mobile phone. Three of the people had given up their landlines for cells, so pollsters are missing vast swathes of the population. Most people I know hang up on pollsters. An equal number are no-call numbers, so the only people the pollsters reach are the retired and unemployed.

    And I wonder about the people who take on-line surveys. I write about business travel and my sources are too busy for this kind of thing.

    Sometimes issuing a poll or survey result is a way to gain coverage for the organization and less about imparting hard facts.

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