The Most Important Sources Of Travel Inspiration For Air Travelers

Summary

  • Guidebooks still inspire travelers (27% globally), showcasing attractions and activities at destinations. Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands are most affected.
  • Online media, including travel sites and blogs, also inspire travelers (27% globally). India, the UAE, and Singapore are most affected.
  • Instagram is a popular inspiration for travel destinations (33% globally), with India, the UAE, and Singapore leading the way.
  • Word of mouth recommendations still hold significant influence (35% globally), particularly in Canada, Australia, and the UK.
  • 5. YouTube is the top inspiration for selecting travel destinations (40% globally), with India, the UAE, and Singapore being most affected.


Commercial travel has seen a significant recovery in the last two years. More and more people are planning air travel, not only to visit their family and friends but also to explore leisure destinations worldwide. People travel to tourist destinations.

The 2023 Skyscanner Horizons Report suggests that global travelers are inspired by various online and offline media when selecting travel destinations. The report showcases findings from a survey that was conducted on 18,000 travelers globally, inquiring various questions about their 2023 and 2024 travel plans. One of the questions on the survey was, “Which, if any, of the following sources do you use as inspiration for travel?” The survey included ten choices ranging from print media to online, and social media platforms.

This article discusses the top five inspirations that global travelers have when selecting air travel destinations. Within each category, we also highlight the countries where most people are affected by the factor. Let’s begin.


5 Guidebooks

People affected when choosing travel destination: 27% (Global)

Top 3 countries
Japan 45%
Italy 40%
Netherlands 37%

On the bottom of our list is Guidebooks, which is one of the factors that affect people’s travel choices. According to 27% of global travelers, guidebooks certainly inspire them when selecting a destination for travel. In times of technology, one may think that travel guidebooks are outdated.

However, more than a quarter of travelers surveyed showed that guidebooks inspired them. Irrespective of the medium (physical copies or electronic versions), guidebooks are essential in showing tourist attractions, food and drinks, local activities, and sightseeing opportunities at destinations.

JAL 787

Airlines that serve tourist destinations may also publish guidebooks specific to where they fly. Japan tops our list, with 45% of people considering guidebooks as an inspiration for travel destinations. Italy and the Netherlands follow the list with 40% and 37%, respectively.

People affected when choosing travel destination: 27% (Global)

Top 3 countries
India 49%
United Arab Emirates 39%
Singapore 34%

Online media is a close tie with the last place. According to nearly 27% of global travelers, online media inspired them when selecting a destination. While online media has many forms, travel sites, blogs, and travel brochures are considered in this context. There is a tremendous number of online blogs available that reveal tourist destinations through the use of scripts, images, and posts. Such reviews inspire travelers to find what attractions align with their interests when choosing a destination.

Air India A320

Photo: Rahul Sapra | Shutterstock

Major airlines also publish images and information about popular destinations through online media. India tops our list, with 49% of people saying that online media is an inspiration for travel destinations. The United Arab Emirates and Singapore follow the list with 39% and 34%, respectively.

3 Instagram

People affected when choosing travel destination: 33% (Global)

Top 3 countries
India 64%
United Arab Emirates 58%
Singapore 54%

Number three on our list is Instagram, one of the most popular social media platforms, particularly for sharing travel stories. According to one-third (33%) of global travelers, guidebooks certainly inspire them when selecting a destination for travel. Instagram is famous for its outreach and connectivity with the world. Whether it is your own friends and family, celebrities, or other public groups, Instagram has a range of media available.

Several Emirates aircraft in the morning at Dubai International Airport.

Photo: Emirates.

Instagram users do not shy away from sharing their travel stories and experiences on their channel and other public channels. Airlines, travel sites, and vacation package companies post information about travel destinations on their social media accounts.

Since most of these accounts are public, people can acquire the type of information that interests them. India tops our list, with 45% of people showing Instagram as an inspiration for travel destinations. The United Arab Emirates and Singapore follow the list with 58% and 54%, respectively.

2 Word of mouth recommendations

People affected when choosing travel destination: 35% (Global)

Top 3 countries
Canada 48%
Australia 46%
United Kingdom 43%

Number two on our list is word of mouth recommendations, something that always works when looking for travel destinations. According to 35% of global travelers, word of mouth inspired them when selecting a destination for travel. People tend to go to places where their loved ones or acquaintances have been. Recommendations can come verbally or through an electronic channel such as social media. The results from the survey show that people still rely on word of mouth.

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-243 N381HA

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Canada tops our list with nearly half the people, 48% said the word-of-mouth recommendations inspired them when selecting travel destinations. Australia and the United Kingdom follow the list with 46% and 43%, respectively.

1 YouTube

People affected when choosing travel destination: 40% (Global)

Top 3 countries
India 79%
United Arab Emirates 67%
Singapore 64%

At the top of our list is YouTube, the largest video content and sharing digital platform. According to 40% of global travelers, YouTube inspired them when selecting a destination for travel. YouTube is known for its video content, and airlines, travel sites, and individuals share their travel offers through videos. The platform allows global travelers to learn about travel sites, attractions, tips, and even the dos and don’ts of the places.

Singapore Airlines aircraft 3.2

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

Major airlines and travel companies have their channels established on YouTube, where they advertise their offerings through detailed or short videos. India once again tops our list with a whopping 79% of people indicating that YouTube inspired them when selecting travel destinations. The United Arab Emirates and Singapore follow the list with 67% and 64%, respectively.

What are your thoughts on the top inspirations for people when selecting travel destinations? What is your biggest inspiration for travel locations? Share your experience in the comments section.

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