With the influence of sites such as Twitter growing stronger by the day, travellers are increasingly using social networking to their advantage and close to half consult Twitter for advice or recommendations regarding a destination.
Travel insurance expert Allianz Global Assistance has unveiled its latest report, which examines how Twitter is being used by travellers.
The research showed that, while general Tweets looking for tourist advice are commonplace, emergency assistance requests are extremely rare.
Lee Taylor, chief sales officer of Allianz Global Assistance UK, said: “Every year, Allianz Global Assistance provides medical assistance and travel insurance to millions of travellers across the globe, offering valuable support in the event of an emergency.
“But as the popularity of social media channels grows, so does the need to better understand its importance in supporting travellers and the travel industry as a whole.”
The study revealed that up to 40 per cent of Twitter users use their followers for recommendations regarding a destination, while 26 per cent use the site to help pick a hotel and calculate travel costs.
One third of all tweets analysed were directed at tourism and travel professionals, showing that Twitter needs to be taken seriously by these companies.
Only 20% of users used hashtags to send a general tweet that could be identified by one or more key words such as #HELPME, #PARIS or even #LOST.
Mr Taylor added: “We will continue to analyse how social networking affects the different markets we work in – travel, automobile, health and home assistance – so that we can truly understand the issues and needs of those who embrace social media to support their daily life.
“With millions of active users on Twitter, Facebook and other emerging social network platforms, now is the time to explore how we can innovatively enhance the communication process.”