After two long, hard years, travel is finally back! And while we're all super excited, there's one group packing faster than most - the travel influencers. When the world shut down in 2020, this specific group of influencers struggled as they could no longer form partnerships with hotels and travel companies. With many looking to make up for lost time and others desperate to get their start in the field, we're looking behind the cameras and filters and exploring the world of travel influencing...
We've all been there. You're scrolling through your Instagram feed with no vacation plans in mind, and something catches your eye. A gorgeous influencer is lying in a hotel bed with a breathtaking view of the sea through the room's window, and before you know it, you're looking up flights to said destination. That is travel influencing at its best. "They know how to monetize their skill, which is photography and content creation, and they bring a keen eye to your hotel," explained the regional director of public relations for the Americas at the Langham Hospitality Group.
While it seems like a win-win for everyone involved, surprisingly, not all hotels are desperate to work with these influencers. Talking to CNN, the owner of Dorp Hotel in Cape Town discussed her issue with the social media stars. "I call them influenzas," she said, explaining she will get five to six calls a week from people who go against what the hotel stands for. "Posing, wearing hardly anything in a hotel room does nothing for us; it's not the clientele we're after." Other hotel managers feel there is an issue with quality control, having had some awful experiences dealing with out-of-touch and demanding influencers. They insist they're now looking to work with more professional journalists who are not just in it for the freebies.
One of the biggest travel influencers on Instagram, Jessica Wright (@bontraveler), agrees with this sentiment, complaining that those just in it for the freebies have damaged influencers' reputations. "People tend to classify influencers as these people who sit by the pool and just get to hang out at the Four Seasons all day, but the travel influencer space is actually really, really exhausting," she insists, referencing the extensive amount of photos that need to be taken. Think you've got what it takes?