Four out of ten baby boomers admit that social media content posted about a holiday destination or accommodation influences their booking decision.
The use of social media during the holiday-researching process is now being extended to older generations, with 42% finding it hard to ignore the level of insight certain platforms, such as Instagram, can give to bookers.
Despite being a generation that's been associated with playing catch-up when it comes to the use of social media platforms, 37% of those aged 55-64 said they use social media as a way of researching holiday destinations. If they find social media images that show a holiday destination or accommodation that isn't up to their standards, then this will put them off booking.
Traditionally, travel review sites have always played a prominent role in the holiday-reviewing and researching process. When baby boomers were asked whether social media content could be trusted over a review site, over a third said they're now starting to use a mix of both when researching a holiday destination.
The study by QHotels, managed by RBH of more than 2,000 UK adults found that while social media content does impact the booking process for baby boomers, 'Instagrammability' is not a factor, whereas millennials prioritise how 'Instagrammable' a destination looks before they book.
When it comes to sharing holiday snaps, over half of Brits (55%) share them while they're still on their trip. For those that wait until they get home said the biggest reason (41%) for this was down to security and not wanting to advertise being away on holiday. Nearly half of baby boomers (48%) would be concerned about the safety of their home while on holiday, which is more than double the proportion of millennials.
John Stuart, Chief Operating Officer at RBH, commented: "We're not surprised to see that using social media to do some extra digging on a hotel or destination is on the rise. What is interesting is how much baby boomers are valuing this content when it comes to making a final decision, and for some, this could be a deal breaker.
"This research gives insight into the changing holiday booking habits of baby boomers, and how the whole researching process is evolving from using travel review sites or just going back to the same place as they always have done. They seemed to have acknowledged the value of using social media in the reviewing process, which has been a trend that has naturally been driven by younger generations.
"Travel review sites have been a great addition to the travel sector, but social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer another layer of awareness into what a certain destination or accommodation is like. Hotels can no longer hide behind a professional photo lens as authentic, consumer-generated content is becoming more important for bookers looking to get a truer perspective on their potential holiday destination. And this is becoming apparent across all generations."