It’s no secret that travel-focused content creators are some of the most popular accounts on the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram, with the best travel Instagram accounts attracting millions of followers who regularly see and socially engage (via likes, comments, and shares) with their favorite Instagrammers’ aspirations content and/or breathtaking travel photos. As Instagram continues to grow—the platform now has over 400 million active users who share more than 80 million photos and videos every day—national tourism boards, hotel resorts, and major travel and hospitality brands are increasingly marketing with digital influencers and top travel Instagram accounts to galvanize the so-called millennial generation (18- to 34-year-olds) who now look to social media platforms for inspiration and to make decisions regarding vacations and lifestyle experiences.
One of the reasons that both audiences and travel brands love Instagram is because the platform’s visually-based medium (the app is, quintessentially, an infinite photo album) lends itself exceptionally well to beautiful shots of gorgeous destinations, videos of exciting adventures, and dreamy posts of luxury hotel rooms. Audiences love to see possible travel destinations and unique experiences just as much as marketers want to share them, and because Instagram enjoys some of the highest levels of engagement of any social media app or network, consumers are often persuaded by creatively curated content from top travel accounts and adventure Instagrammers. In fact, a survey of nearly 80,000 people by popular travel website MissTravel found that 48% of Instagram users choose their vacation destinations based on a photo or video they saw on Instagram, while 35% of those surveyed said they regularly use Instagram to discover new places (Adweek).
For more examples of how hospitality brands and tourism boards are partnering with top travel Instagrammers, see our article here.
The travel and hospitality sector is in an ideal position to leverage the aspirational content and large, engaged audiences of today’s best travel Instagram accounts, especially through partnerships with the platform’s most popular social media influencers. Brands like Marriott, All Nippon Airways, and most recently, the California Tourism Department have all partnered with notable social media influencers to target young, social media-savvy consumer demographics and build immense audience affinity by sponsoring incredible personal adventures showcasing a brand’s products or services through sponsored Instagram posts.
Stockholm native Carin Olsson moved to Paris in 2012 to pursue her lifelong dream of working in both photography and fashion. What began as a four-month sojourn quickly developed into a permanent relocation. Current sponsorships primarily stem from the fashion industry (including those with David Yurman and recent campaign entitled “Cannes with Cartier“), though Paris In Four Months’ aesthetic pairs perfectly with any brand seeking to reach a high-end follower clientele.
With over 1 million followers, the self-described “restless transplant” calls the Columbia River Gorge home but has traveled 100K+ miles while surfing and camping. One of the best travel Instagram accounts today, Foster’s Instagram features several tree house builds including “The Cinder Cone” and htravel adventures in the Pacific northwest.
Perhaps the poster child for aspirational lifestyle travel, Jay (who bears a strong resemblance to Tarzan) and his model girlfriend Alexis Ren (who also has a top Instagram account) are globetrotting the world and taking their 5 million engaged Instagram followers with them.
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On the Road: it's a new short video series that I have been working on for the last year. I am so stoked to release it today! My goal was to really bring to life some of my favorite images and moments from my travels. We have a video from New Zealand and Monument Valley out now.. And one from iceland coming soon. Check it out the full video in my profile link 👉🏽 Thanks to all who helped make it happen and for the incredible aerial cinematographer from @karimiliya @gopro @northernlightsoptic @goalzero @nemoequipment @orukayak @lakewanakanz @amazinggrass @olloclip @jtchevallier
Hailing from California’s Central Coast, Chris Burkard is a self-taught photographer whose magnificent and awe-inspiring landscapes have led over 1 million followers to his Instagram account. He cites the ocean as his muse and uses surfing as a medium for inspiration; his self-described goal is to document humanity’s humble place in nature.
With over half a million followers, Corey Staudacher’s ethereal landscapes and portraits focus primarily on the Pacific Northwest. It was on the social media platform where he met his wife and fellow photographer, Bethany Marie (who’s worked with Sperry and Teen Vogue). The couple frequently travels together and continue to document their many adventures through their respective travel Instagram accounts.