A new piece of research has illustrated the importance of word of mouth in the travel industry.

Consumer research group Mintel polled 1,400 people who had taken a holiday in the past five years and found that 34% chose their destination on the basis of a face-to-face recommendation, Travel Weekly reports.

This made word of mouth the most commonly used form of holiday advice, with only one in four people saying they visited their local travel agent for guidance.

Some 828 people surveyed by Mintel said they had used the internet to plan their holiday and 26% exploited the potential of the web by looking at pictures and videos online.

A similar proportion of respondents said they had accessed blogs and user reviews to learn more about their holiday destination.

Richard Cope, Mintel’s senior travel analyst, said the adoption of Web 2.0 facilities such as these has been ‘really strong’ and companies are beginning to take advantage of this by including reviews on their sites.