May 8, 2023 Guest Blogger

Social Media Influencers’ Impact on the Travel Industry

In the social media influencer space, influencers promote everything from products to experiences. But what if we could rely on influencers when we plan our next vacation? Or what if travel brands like AirBnb, Hilton, and popular resort chains worked with influencers to promote their services? Planning and knowing where to stay for a much needed vacation can be stressful and oftentimes deceiving. Utilizing the credibility and sustained trust of social media influencers could drive traffic to brand websites and can encourage people to get out and see the world.

Social Media Influencers Can Travel A Lot

Typically, full time social media influencers with a focus on travel and hospitality will travel for brand trips, personal vacations or other work-related reasons. Their community of followers will get a glimpse into the accommodations of those influencers, wondering where or how they can book those accommodations for themselves. Travel brands can utilize that gained interest to promote their own properties. Usually, travelers may not be aware of even half of the services that travel brands offer. For example, through AirBnB you can book not only rental houses/apartments, but you can book hotels too while sticking to your budget and location. 

Diving into Tourism

While travel brands can use influencers to promote accommodations and services, influencers can also promote activities and/or excursions in certain destinations. An example of this is how shark diving has gained in popularity on TikTok and Instagram due to its unique aesthetic and adrenaline rush. Influencer Lexi Hidalgo, a 22 year old with 2.5 million followers, has gone shark diving in Hawaii and now her hometown in Florida. Due to her positive experiences and gorgeous photos, others have been inspired to do the same. Small businesses that rely on tourism can also greatly benefit from positive influencer experiences. 

Cruisin’ with Influence

Cruise lines have a lot to offer as a prime vacation option. From the activities on the ship to the tropical destinations and excursions, there is plenty to see and do. Sending social media influencers of different demographics and audience sizes can provide insight into life on that cruise. It is one thing to look at the itinerary and perks of a cruise, but it’s another to see someone else experience it. 

Liz Pak, a family-focused influencer with 50.5k followers on TikTok, shows what it’s like for her family on a Disney Cruise. Her videos go through the day-to-day life on the ship and all the fun things that kids and adults can do. Although cruise lines are catching on to the idea of sending influencers on cruises to create content and promote them, there is room for additional partnerships in the future. 

Reaching New Heights

As quarantine forced the world to stay inside, the tourism industry suffered greatly. Since 2020, tourism has recovered to almost 60% of pre pandemic levels. Now is a great time to capitalize on the rise of tourism and people’s desire to explore the world again. Travel brands can use micro-influencers and macro-influencers  to send them on trips using their accommodations and services in exchange for social content. 

Coming out of the global pandemic, social media influencers had a dramatic impact on the rebirth of the travel and tourism industries. Consumers have come to rely on influencer experiences when considering their next destination. Consider influencer programming within your marketing strategy to ensure your brand reaches the next wave of consumers booking their next vacation.

Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by Olivia Sullivan.

, , ,