Influencers have a power that was unheard of in previous years of marketing tactics and strategies. The pull that their posts can have on any given activity, product, or opinion is worth noting. When destination influencers travel, particularly for a brand or product, their followers will see that destination as the standard the influencer endorses for traveling.
Destination Influencers: Why they matter
Tourism marketing has gone through a drastic change over the last decade, and with the pandemic, there was an even more drastic pivot. In previous generations: baby boomers, and gen x, there was less of a priority to travel, and more focus was put into working and earning the highest income possible. On the flip side, millennials and gen z adults are more focused on using their jobs to live their lives and have as many wonderful experiences as possible. Travel influencers give those generations the push they wanted, and may have needed, to book the flight and take the trip.
Influencer vs Travel Influencer
Several brands are famous for their luxurious and all-inclusive trips with the most influential Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube stars. They can flood an island with jet ski rides, parties, and more photo-ops than you can imagine. These trips from brands like Tarte and Revolve are typically great for the brand itself because the influencers’ followers will take to the brand website to shop, but the destination will also gain traffic on their booking websites because their followers want those same experiences and the same gorgeous photo backgrounds. There will always be a group that believes the trips are too extravagant, but at the end of the day, marketing executives carefully curated those influencers and the destination with several points of interest in mind for all parties involved to benefit.
Influencers like Alix Earle and Remi Bader are social media stars but are not considered travel influencers. The trick to their fame is that for brand trips, they are able to dip their toes into the world of travel influence while not living in the world permanently. This creates a cross of multiple followings where brands and destinations begin to see the benefits.
On the other side of that coin, travel influencers such as Lauren Bollen (@gypsea_lust) and Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard) both travel around taking photographs and documenting the best parts of the world through social media and blog posts. Their experiences give insight into the beauty of the world that their followers may not have realized was attainable due to society’s standards of previous generations.
Destination Influencers: Tourism Marketing
The purpose of tourism marketing is to make a specific brand stand out from competitors in any given tourist community. By using an actual person that has followers that not only look up to them but are more than likely following them because they are looking for places to travel, you are already more likely to gain traction.
Travel influencers are able to market their trips and experiences as picture-perfect, relaxing, romantic, adventurous, or whatever the brand has in mind.
The bottom line
People are spending more time online now than ever, and that will be around for a while. Travel Influencers are the piece of the puzzle that brands have needed to get their landmarks, excursions, and adventures out for the public to book.
Travel influencers are taking tourism marketing by storm and allowing their followers of all tax brackets to enjoy the perks of traveling near and far. Tourism marketing tactics and strategies will continue to grow and change as travel influencers allow more and more visibility to hundreds of destinations.
Adeline is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she majored in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and Journalism. Currently living in Charlotte, she enjoys reading, volleyball, and strolling through her favorite farmers markets with her Goldendoodle Theo.