To find the best deals, consumers will search the Internet for information more often than any other source. So it would make sense that reviews influence the purchase decision, with 41% revealing they made personal plans vs. 50% for business based on reviews of others. An increasing number of travelers contribute to these reviews, too. In a similar study conducted in April 2008, only 9% of travelers surveyed had posted a review, 5% commented on a review, and 3% participated in a travel-related blog.

Consumers rely on search engines throughout the trip-planning process more so than travel search sites, although online travel agencies remain strong with 55% looking for business accommodations vs. 52% for personal. The study suggests 64% depend on search engines to plan personal trips vs. 56% for business. When it comes to searching for information on hotels, 81% rely on search engines when looking for business overnight accommodations vs. 67% personal; 74% business air travel vs. 59%; 60% destinations vs. 59% personal; and 51% vacation activities vs. 55% personal.

Travel videos have also become important as people plan trips. They help people to visualize the surroundings and make better choices on where to stay and what to do. Videos created by peers are looked upon as being more trusted, compared with the videos that companies create to peddle goods and services.

Get the full story at MediaPost