Social media is now the most popular way for travellers to communicate with friends and family back home, and its rise has led to a major slump for the postcard industry, a new report has revealed.
According to a study by travel search site Skyscanner, only 11% of travellers now send a postcard when they go on holiday, while 91% go online to communicate with friends back home. Facebook is now the most popular way to update those at home (58%), with almost four out of five people admitting to updating their status every couple of days and 17% checking their news feeds at least every couple of hours.
Sixty-percent of international travellers stay in touch by sending text messages, and only 5% admitted to not making an effort to make contact with people at home.
The survey also revealed that travel agent brochures may also be a thing of the past, with 88% of respondents saying they no longer using brochures when researching a trip. Instead, travellers turn to technology as travel websites (17%) and social media sites (21%) became the most popular forms of travel inspiration. That said, more than one in 10 people still said they turn to newspapers and magazines when researching holidays.
“Social networks have transformed the way we communicate with the world and is now the most popular way to stay in touch with those at home to share our holiday experiences having replaced the more traditional postcard. The internet has changed everything, not only the way we communicate but also the way we look for inspiration. Gone are the days of trawling through endless pages of travel agent brochures, these days most of us surf the net or turn to our favourite newspaper,” said Skyscanner’s Victoria Bailie.
The survey also indicates that Asian travellers are even less likely to send postcards. Of the 1,000 Singaporeans polled, just 8% said they still send postcards.