With over 1 billion active users on Instagram, it’s not hard to see why the photo sharing social media platform has taken over the world (kind of).
At just a click of a button, we have unlimited access to a plethora of wanderlust worthy images of stunning cities, beaches and countries. And according to research undertaken by holiday home insurance company, Schofields, over 40% of millennials are choosing their holiday destinations based upon how socially shareable and ‘Instagrammable’ their holiday will be.
In today’s post I wanted to explore that a little further and see what the role Instagram plays on our choice of travel.
For me, Instagram is an incredible tool that allows me to carry out extensive research before embarking on a trip. However, while I do use it to ogle at picturesque pictures of beautiful destinations that I plan on travelling to, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’d choose to visit a certain destination based solely on what I’d seen on Instagram.
As an avid traveller who’s keen to see as much of the world as possible, it’s hard for me to say that I’d never be influenced by what people are uploading to Instagram. Sure, there have been times where I’ve seen countless pictures of the Maldives and I’ve thought to myself ‘I’d love to visit there one day’ but I don’t think I’d book a holiday based on its ‘Instagrammability’ alone. I’m a notorious control freak and ~professional~ planner so whenever I’m embarking upon a trip, a lot of research goes into the destination that I’m planning on visiting.
This involves scouring the Internet for relevant articles and reviews, reading through my favourite travel bloggers‘ posts on the destination and of course, I take to Instagram to look at the beautiful places that are available once I arrive there.
As part of Schofields‘ research into the matter, they discovered that ‘Instagrammability’ was the leading factor in millennials’ choice of holiday destinations. The likes of cost and availability of alcohol, local cuisines and sightseeing ventures paled into insignificance compared to how good their holiday pics would look on social media.
So is Instagram damaging the travel industry or helping it?
Some may argue that due to the instant availability of travel snaps, people will be influenced by the images they see of a certain destination rather than delving into more research into a particular place. However, I personally don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to choose your holiday due to what you’ve seen on Instagram; as long as you’re still conducting the proper research needed to have a safe and enjoyable trip then I don’t think that Instagram is damaging the tourist and travel industry at all.
Quite the opposite in fact.
Due to Instagram’s instant availability, it means that these 1 billion+ people can share their holiday pictures and they can be seen by people from all over the world, thus encouraging people to venture out further than their regular, run of the mill family holiday. It’s allowed me to discover places in the world that I didn’t even know existed and I’ll admit – they do now have a place on my travel wishlist.
One thing that I do think needs more attention though is whether these people taking these gorgeous snaps and uploading them instantly are actually taking in their surroundings and enjoying the moment, or are they just there for the ‘gram?
I’ve been guilty in the past of being obsessed with getting the perfect shot for my Instagram that I’ve forgot to lower the camera and just admire my surroundings through my own eyes rather than through a lens. I know I need to make more of a conscious effort to not only get my Insta shot, but I also need to appreciate where I am for what it is.
What do you think about the role Instagram plays on our choice of travel? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @imjustagirl_16.
*This post was written in collaboration with Schofields but all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. Please see my disclaimer for more.