It is no doubt that social media is affecting the travel industry and has been for the past few years! The photo sharing app Instagram, specifically, has become the way forward for travel marketing. Travel companies and international tourism boards are now using Instagram as a key part of their marketing strategy.
With a demographic made up of 59% 18-29 year olds, Instagram is the perfect social media platform for travel marketing to reach young people. The explore tab allows people to easily see other travellers’ experiences of countries/accommodation/travel companies. People are now using the app as a way of getting inspiration for future trips and travel marketers are using this to their advantage.
Tourism boards use Instagram like a brochure. Countries all over the world have profiles posting consistently only the most beautiful and enticing photos.
Visit Scotland – @VisitScotland
VisitScotland’s Instagram profile features stunning photos of Scottish surroundings. The profile acts as a significant part of their social media marketing strategy. Instagram users only having to include the hashtags #ScotSpirit, #LoveScotland and #VisitScotland in their posts to feature on the page! @ExploreCanada, @Spain and @Visit_Holland also using that strategy, showing their social media following scenes typical of their country. A platform ideal for tourist boards across the world, Instagram really allows tourism boards’ travel marketing with a much larger reach!
STA Travel –@statravel
Companies are also adopting the same methods as the tourism boards. Companies like STA Travel, who are self-proclaimed “experts in student, youth and adventure” use their Instagram profile to exhibit the idyllic photos of travellers who have used their travel services. Again, using the #StartTheAdventure hashtag to try and persuade young people to book a cheap trip!
Contiki – @contiki
The group travel company, Contiki also uses Instagram to show off their worldwide tours. Again, they target young adults, offering tours to 18-35 years old. Their Instagram operates much like STA Travel’s but includes people experiencing the different tours. Offering over 300 trips, Contiki are the leading company for youth tour travel. In 2016, Contiki took 12 famous YouTube personalities on a road trip around Peru. These influencers obviously then posted their own photos of the Peruvian Contiki experience on Instagram, introducing their young followers to not only the South American surroundings, but also Contiki.
Air BnB – @airbnb
The very well-known travel accommodation company Air BnB use Instagram as a way of sharing stories from around the world. Marketing Air BnB as a way of experiencing a city like a local, their profile features the people behind the BnB, the local owners of the spaces. Sharing stories of their lives, how they came to use Air BnB. Giving Air BnB a welcoming adventurous online image!
Everyday people are convinced of going travelling as a result of being influenced by these Instagram posts and profiles. With such a reach, Instagram has become a key tool in travel marketing.
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