Seven in 10 Americans think social media is a 'good way' to find new travel destinations

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By Livy Beaner // SWNS
NEWS COPY W/ VIDEO + INFOGRAPHIC
More than three in five Americans believe they have what it takes to be a travel influencer, according to new research.
A poll of 2,000 adults revealed that 30% firmly believe they could be a travel influencer, and another 33% believe they may have the potential to be.
Respondents’ inner influencer mirrors their real-life travel preferences.
One-third of respondents prefer a mix of both natural and human-made landmarks, with 20% favoring the latter.
Opportunities for nearby exploration (39%) and potential interaction with animals (29%) fueled respondents’ desire to travel. 
So it’s no surprise that zoos and aquariums (34%) and roadside attractions (31%) turned out to be some of the most social media feature-worthy travel destinations. 
The poll, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Discovery Cove, also showed that captivating beauty draws people to destinations and pushes them towards posting it on social media.

Based on a list compiled by CNN in 1997, the Grand Canyon in Arizona already serves as the United States’ ambassador to the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World,” and 46% of respondents believe it also belongs on the U.S.-based list of wonders.
Forty-six percent also chose a man-made wonder on the east coast: The Statue of Liberty. 
Regardless of location, respondents believe their home state has about 10 travel-worthy landmarks in it, on average.
The data suggests that the average American is willing to travel 181 miles to see a destination recommended by family or friends. 
But two-thirds (67%) are willing to travel further if it means they can cross something specific off their bucket list.
Respondents also cited other factors that might encourage them to travel, including first-time experiences (33%) and inspired photo opportunities (31%).
“Americans are seeking Instagrammable destinations. Beautiful locations and unique experiences are drawing crowds from around the United States, whether it be for bucket list moments or social media posts,” said Crystal O’Hea, Vice President of Marketing for Discovery Cove. “People are also looking for trips with many exciting tourist destinations nearby.”
Almost seven in 10 (69%) believe social media to be a good way to find new travel destinations, and 67% believe that platform is a good way to encourage travel.
More than half (58%) of respondents are even likely to visit somewhere just because they saw it on social media.
Two-thirds of respondents think they post more during vacation than they do on a typical day.
When it comes to determining if a destination is post-worthy, 43% consider the natural beauty and 35% weigh the creative photo opportunities. 
Regardless, 65% of Americans believe the modern mantra, “if I don’t post it on social media, it didn’t happen.” 
“As of January 2022, more than half of the world uses social media,” said O’Hea. “In the age of instant information and access to endless content, more people are encouraging others to travel and get their own ‘likes’ on social media. Attractions and destinations prepare for this and actively strive to provide experiences that encourage social sharing.”
 
TOP SOCIAL MEDIA FEATURE-WORTHY DESTINATIONS

Natural scenery (beaches, mountains, etc.) – 38%
Historical landmarks – 38%
National Parks – 38%
Local hidden gems – 37%
Museums and exhibits – 37%
Human-made destinations/resorts – 36%
Zoos/aquariums – 34%
Restaurants – 33%
Theme parks – 33%
Destinations abroad – 31%
Roadside attractions – 31%
Pop culture-inspired destinations – 30%
Stores – 27%

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