A substantial increase in traveling in 2018 was forecasted by a survey conducted by The GO Group. 33% said they planned on traveling more in the upcoming year vs. 21% in 2016. Lower airfares have helped, but they’re not the only factor contributing to the rise in vacations. If bargain airfare isn’t the biggest reason, what is?
The once predominant baby boomer generation is now taking a backseat to the new players in town: Millennials. According to Pew Research, the Millennial population has officially overtaken boomers. Due to generational shifts, marketing strategies have adapted to cater to the masses.
A recent study by Stackla discovered that 70% of Millennials perceive social posts or reviews from family members and friends to be most impactful. Millennials are also the most tech-savvy generation so far, spending more time perusing online social media than any previous generation. These elements are a large part of the reason influencer marketing is growing so quickly.
Meanwhile, the priorities of Millennials & Gen Z are different than those of their predecessors. While baby boomers prioritized major purchases like homes and cars, Millennials tend to spend money on experiences, opting to try ziplining, surfing, or exploring a new country over a luxury vehicle. Millennials love to travel, and they are willing to splurge on it, making them the most lucrative generation for the travel industry. Travel influencer marketing has only fueled the fire.
Considering the above, it’s understandable that more people have taken the path to become or follow travel influencers. Travel influencer marketing on social media provides non-stop inspiration. Influencers on Instagram, Facebook, and other major social networking sites paint idyllic pictures of beautiful, experience-rich lives.
While influencers’ travels may be funded by the brands they’re promoting, they remain considerably more relatable than actors in tv ads. The draw of this relatability gives influencers a hold over Millennials, affecting their travel decisions and shaping their wanderlust. In short, travel influencer marketing is the reason Millennials take more vacations, and Millennials are the reason these tactics work so well.
As influencer marketing on the travel scene has grown, an increasing number of articles and posts on “how to become a travel influencer” have emerged. More and more people wonder if they, too, can become a sought-after travel influencer with thousands of followers. Along with this trend has come unfortunate spikes in “influencers” demanding free hotel stays. Despite the shadow cast by greedy, wannabe Instagram stars, the effect of influencer marketing on the travel industry has mostly been positive.
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While it’s necessary to weed out the hoards of fakes looking for free vacations from the legitimate influencers, many major travel brands are jumping on the influencer marketing bandwagon. Millennials’ thirst for adventure has pushed travel brands to capitalize on a strategy that works with influencers who love to travel. These brands recognize the viability of influencer marketing and the importance of resonating with young, travel-hungry Millennials.
Hotel brands are a perfect example of this. Hotels work hard to cater to Millennials’ need for instant gratification and personalization. Complimentary Wi-Fi is no longer impressive – it’s expected. Hotels now offer services like a social media concierge and extra points and perks for mentioning the hotel on Facebook. There are even apps that allow guests to connect with other travelers without leaving their rooms.
More than anything, Millennials want their experience to be unique and customized to their personal style and interests. Older generations are rarely interested in these features, but younger generations eat them up.
Hotels are changing more than just their methods of ordering room service. Now, they’re employing influencer marketing to get a leg up on the competition. Travel influencers can easily drop subtle promotions into enticing, authentic posts in front of an audience yearning to travel. For the 90% of Millennials in search of brand authenticity, this strategy works remarkably well.
Influencers have already changed the travel industry. New generations are turning away from travel magazines, instead seeking inspiration from friends, consumers, and influencers with familiar, engaging social media presences. Due to this shift, the category of travel influencer marketing is rapidly expanding, presenting opportunities for mutually beneficial collaborations between influencers and brands.
The competition is fierce for new influencers entering the travel influencer marketing arena. The more crowded the influencer space gets, the more important it is for true influencers to stand out through creativity and authenticity. Better influencers mean successful marketing, and effective marketing leads to a thriving travel industry. An influencer marketing agency can help brands ensure all the gears mesh for a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy.