Instagram is changing how we travel
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Social Media has changed it all, from how we communicate to how we shop and certainly how we experience travel. Instagram in particular has become the number once source for travel inspiration: the hashtag #travel has over 227 million photos, and places like Trolltunga, a rock that sits 600mts above Ringedalsvatnet, Lake in Norway saw its count of yearly visitors grow from 500 a year in 2009 to 40, 000 in 2014 all due to the many times it was shown on Instagram by fellow travelers.
More than 500 million active users on Instagram are sharing an average of 80 million photos a day, and they are influencing our travel decisions. Instagram has become our favorite Social Media tool, as well, and a perfect platform to showcase everything related to the Dominican Republic: the outstanding beaches of Punta Cana, the jet-setting lifestyle of La Romana, the culture and history around Santo Domingo and the delicious food in Samaná.
Chris Burkard, a lifestyle and travel photographer from California, believes that for the average user is only ten clicks away from seeing a travel photo on Instagram and booking a flight to get there; and the truth is that many people choose a travel destination based on something the came across of on Instagram. This didn’t happen 10 years ago.
Instagram is becoming the number one source for travel inspiration, and brands are diving in and taking advantage of it. In 2015, the tourism board of Wanaka, a small alpine town in New Zealand, invited and hosted influencers from all over the world to explore the town and post about their adventures. The results? A 14% increase in the number of visitors.
But why is it so effective? In the words of travel influencer and photographer Johan Lolo’s: “… following photographers on Instagram gives a more genuine expression than looking for inspiration in a tourism brochure”. That personal, unbiased look at other people’s experiences is making users more engaged and eager to take an immediate action.
This type of engagement and social sharing can also make a difference by encouraging people to be more socially conscious about the environmental issues around the world. To Burkard, the best way to start caring about a place is getting there; and not only traveling but traveling mindfully.