-When we looked at the topic of “summer travel” we found a staggering statistic in the second most influential post, which has kept the blogosphere abuzz: eMarketer reported on a survey that found as of the beginning of June, two-thirds of people had not yet booked their summer vacations. What is the culprit? It seems to be the rising price of gasoline, with 30% of the influential posts looking at that topic. Ten percent of influencers also are discussing the new airline policies like extra costs for checked bags, and also some alternatives to travel, like visiting a virtual world.
-Twenty percent of the influential bloggers agree the best spots to take a summer vacation this year are stateside. Influencers report that even though prices in the US are on the rise, the falling value of the American dollar is hurting international travel. The most influential blog on the topic of “summer travel” is AOL's Gadling. (Influence is determined by a BuzzLogic algorithm that's based on links, number of entries, and other criteria.)
-On the subject of “summer vacation” it seems influential bloggers are all about sharing, as 53% of the influential posts shared their personal experiences. Both of the top two influential posts, written by From the Trenches of Public Education and the Chicago Moms Blog share stories of prior summer vacations. While most bloggers are sharing their stories, influencers are also offering tips: some of the most influential posts detail how to survive the family car trip, how to pack efficiently and lists of top destinations for families and women.
-Because gas prices are impacting Americans' wallets, we looked at the correlation between “gas prices” and “travel” in the blogosphere. That search turned up a staggering 13,593 blog posts since the start of the year. The top five influential blogs on this topic are Autoblog, The Consumerist, AOL's Gadling, two New York Times blogs and The Caucus and City Room.
-With gas prices and travel, influencers are discussing a wide range of topics. Forty-six percent of the influencers on this topic are discussing how gas prices are impacting consumer spending habits, with 75% of these posts saying that travel is being reduced and even cut completely. Many of the influencers point to a statistic from Reuters saying that consumer travel will be drastically reduced if gas prices hit $4.
-Eleven percent of influencers on “gas prices” and “travel” are offering suggestions on how to save money on gas, with the second most influential post, from Autoblog, offering the advice to turn your car into a billboard. The presidential candidates proposed strategies for gas price relief are also being scrutinized by bloggers, with 8% of the influencers taking a close look at the plans.
The blogosphere, media and consumers all seem to be on the same page when it comes to summer travel and vacations this year. While we all are yearning to get away, and even sharing stories of previous summer vacations, the stress of rising prices – especially oil – are impacting our ability to travel. The best advice we found? If you need to cut back, look for bargains or explore your local vicinity – just make sure you do get away.
Based on the analysis of 18,085 blog postings from January 1 – June 15, 2008. Evaluation and analysis by BuzzLogic.