NetBase Report Reveals the Most Loved Travel and Hospitality Brands of 2018

Marriott dominates the travel and hospitality industry; Airbnb is the most loved travel site, and American Airlines leads the airline industry

SANTA CLARA, Calif.— August 8, 2018 – NetBase, a global leader in enterprise social analytics, today released its annual Social Media Industry Report 2018 Travel and Hospitality. The report leveraged NetBase’s social analytics technology to examine the most popular brands across five categories including, Airlines, Car Rental, Cruise Lines, Hotels, and Travel Sites.

“Social media plays an extensive role in how customers feel about travel and hospitality brands, and where they choose to spend their vacation time,” said Paige Leidig, chief marketing officer at NetBase. “Most consumers have a limited amount of vacation time and turn to social media for recommendations. We analyzed, translated and packaged these social conversations into digestible insights, helping travel and hospitality brands to better communicate with consumers and ultimately motivate them to love and trust their brands.”

The Top 10 Most Loved Travel and Hospitality Brands

  1. Marriott (1)
  2. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (2)
  3. Hilton (3)
  4. Airbnb (3)
  5. American Airlines (3)
  6. Royal Caribbean Cruises (4)
  7. JetBlue (5)
  8. Southwest Airlines (5)
  9. United Airlines (6)
  10. Singapore Airlines (7)
  11. Delta Airlines (7)
  12. Cathay Pacific Airlines (8)
  13. The Ritz-Carlton (9)
  14. Hyatt (10)
  15. Qantas Airlines (10)

The most popular brands by category are:

  • Airlines – American Airlines (3) and JetBlue & Southwest (5), United Airlines (6)
  • Car Rentals –Hertz Rent-a-Car (27) and Enterprise Rent-A-Car (29)
  • Cruise Lines– Royal Caribbean Cruises (4) and Carnival Cruise Lines (12)
  • Hotels – Marriott (1) and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (2)
  • Travel Sites – Airbnb (3) and Trip Advisor (12)

Consumer opinions matter. This is especially true for businesses in the Travel and Hospitality industries. How customers feel about your brand directly impacts whether or not they spend their vacation days with you! And there are thousands of brands are competing for their attention. When consumers are looking to disconnect from their daily lives and go somewhere new, they are turning to social media for inspiration on where to go next, where to stay, and what to do while they’re there.

NetBase’s advanced social analytics technology can evaluate sentiment not only at the keyword level, but also thematically. Themes provide insight to drill down into conversations around topics such as customer service, sales and discounts, adventure travel, or anticipation around travel, and then analyze how consumers feel about a brand within that theme. Comparing brands across conversation themes allows us to identify strengths and opportunities for brands in a wide array of areas – from operations to content types – in order to increase brand sentiment.

The Social Media Industry Report 2018 Travel and Hospitality is based on brand conversations across social networks, review sites, blogs, forums, and news sites worldwide. The report examines top trends and overall performance of selected brands as discussed across several social channels. The analysis focused on an assortment of 60 brands across five categories including, Airlines, Car Rental Companies, Cruise Lines, Hotels, and Travel Sites.

Additional Findings from the Report Include:

  • Airline brands dominated the social conversation for Travel and Hospitality brands this year with 58 percent of the share of voice for all brands on the list, despite only making up 25 percent of the brands we researched.
  • Car Rental brands have the lowest Net Sentiment and Passion scores on average. This may indicate that most conversations on social media are about customer service. Car rental brands should see this as an opportunity to create messaging around exciting activities that their offerings enable.
  • Cruise lines had the highest Net Sentiment scores, on average, at 79%, as well as the highest passion scores. Cruise lines are generating positive conversation, and it’s just a matter of how they grow their share overall travel conversation beyond the current 5% share of voice.
  • Hotels accounted for 33% of the top 10 brands, and performed well with the second highest average Net Sentiment and passion we measured in the report. There is an opportunity for them to start embracing more visual channels like Instagram and YouTube.
  • Travel Sites accounted for 10 percent of the conversation we measured for this report and see most of their conversation take place on forums and Instagram. NetBase found that conversation themes differed between aggregators and specialty sites.


The Social Media Industry Report 2018 Travel and Hospitality is based on brand conversations across the social web, inclusive of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and millions of other sources during the one-year period from July 1, 2017 through July 1, 2018. NetBase maps each category using four dimensions:

  • Volume – measuring the number of earned and owned mentions and conversations.
  • Passion Intensity – indicating how strongly consumers feel about a brand or company based on a scale of 0-100.
  • Net Sentiment – measuring the overall direction of how consumers feel about a brand’s marketing, customer service and products on a scale of -100 to +100.
  • Brand Passion Index (BPI) – a brand’s Net Sentiment-to-Passion ratio provides a look at how the brand is favored. For example, a brand with a low Net Sentiment but a high Passion Intensity is hated, whereas a brand with a high Net Sentiment but low Passion Intensity is liked, but not loved.

The Social Media Industry Report 2018 Travel + Hospitality can be downloaded here.

About NetBase

NetBase is the award-winning social analytics platform that global companies use to run brands, build businesses and connect with consumers every second. Its platform processes millions of social media posts daily for actionable business insights for marketing, research, customer service, sales, PR and product innovation. NetBase is a trusted partner to American Airlines, Arby’s, Coca-Cola, Ogilvy, T-Mobile, Universal Music Group, Walmart and YUM! Brands. Learn more at or @NetBase

Media Contact
Mark McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA
(781) 684-6569

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