Social travel is on the rise again and finally about to take the place it deserves in the social sphere. New and exciting models offer full integration into the main social network platforms, ease of review / advice upload from geo-localised smartphones, and easier monetisation. As with all disruptive business models, initial challenges must be overcome. For social travel, these are establishing reputation and trust.
Companies that want to embrace the social element must first tackle the inherent concerns that individuals have when the social internet and offline worlds combine. Now that social networks have evolved and entered the mainstream, social travel start-ups can prosper. Renewed interest is illustrated by Google and TripAdvisor’s increasingly serious foray into the sector, meaning this is a space to keep an eye on. This report presents the main reasons behind social travel’s coming of age, and analyses some of the more interesting models and companies.