Instagram and the millennial propensity to spend money on travel

Social media has grown tremendously in recent years. Over 600 million people used Instagram globally in 2017 and 64% of all global users were millennials. Previous literature has focused on the relationship between travel and millennials, but not specifically on the relationship between travel content on Instagram and money spent on travel by millennials. This research conducted by myself and three other UT students addresses the gap in existing research by examining primary and secondary research on this relationship.

The research was conducted through an online Qualtrics survey administered to 171 individuals, 90% of whom had Instagram accounts. The survey included questions related to Instagram use, Instagram psychology, travel habits, and general demographic questions.

Through the survey and secondary research we found that while Instagram usage alone was not significant enough to predict the amount of money spent on travel, following travel content on Instagram was a significant predictor of travel spending among millennials. Further, we found that using Instagram to discover new travel destinations is a strong predictor of travel spending among millennials, but not for non-millennials. In addition, income level was found to be a moderating variable in the relationship between following travel content on Instagram and money spent on leisure travel.

Further research could utilize this data to examine the effects of social media influencers on travel marketing and the relationship between travel content on social media platforms and purchase intention as a whole.

View the full research proposal here.

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