It’s hard to believe that travel has become a billion dollar industry in the US alone. It seems like only yesterday that we were camping on the beach, toasting marshmallows over a campfire. As the kids have grown up, however, our tendency to jet to far-flung destinations has not. While many of the same principles apply to staying home, travel is an entirely different (and, sometimes, more lucrative) set of circumstances.

The travel industry looks to social media to help get the word out about their services and products. This means that businesses must make an effort to make their online profiles as appealing as possible. They should highlight the great services they offer and outline what makes them a great choice for travelers.

Squarespace has released a new study showing that Americans agree that online research is more important for travel than any other activity.

According to a new survey conducted by Squarespace in partnership with Harris Poll, the younger generation is an internet fanatic.

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The study found that 60% of Generation Z and 62% of millennials believe that how you present yourself online is more important than how you present yourself in person. Moreover, about one in two Americans (49%) say they remember the color of a website better than the color of someone’s eyes – with 71% of Millennials agreeing with this statement, compared to 58% of Generation Z.

Travel advisors trying to make an impression online should make sure it is a good one when targeting young travelers. The study also found that nearly half (44%) of Generation Z and 39% of millennials believe they make a better impression online than in person, compared to 21% of Generation X and 8% of baby boomers. Generation Z is more likely to remember the last website they visited (43%) than their partner’s birthday (38%) or their national insurance number (31%).

Most members of Generation Z believe that how you present yourself online is more important than how you present yourself in person – and while 92% are more likely to be preoccupied with other things when browsing the internet, they are also more likely to remember the colour of a website than the colour of someone’s eyes, says Kinjil Mathur, marketing director at Squarespace. Americans visit more than 3,000 websites a year, and our research shows that what we see online can leave a more lasting impression than what we see in person. That’s why it’s so important to create a well-designed presence in everything you do online.

Crucially for the travel industry as a whole, 66% of Americans agree that travel is the main activity for which online research is most important. More than half of Americans (57%) believe that a well-designed website or online store is more important to a business than the store itself. 62% of Americans (including 76% of Millennials and 64% of Gen Z) always check out a company’s website before buying, visiting or eating out (compared to 65% of Gen Xers and 49% of Baby Boomers).

Seven out of ten Americans (70%) agree that if a local business has a well-designed website, they are more likely to make a purchase in person, meaning that a top-notch website is now the key to business success.

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