If you are feeling the pandemic blues and daydreaming about vacations in Hawaii, you’re not alone. Scrolling through Instagram, you’ll see endless vacation photos of beautiful beaches, bustling cities and breathtaking mountains. I’m feeling particularly jealous. So, I have started looking at destinations popular on Instagram. Social media is a huge Millennial influencer, especially when it comes to choosing a vacation destination. One study revealed that “Instagrammability“ is important to Millennials, but we didn’t need a study to tell us that.
What makes Instagram so important?
Instagram has been growing since its launch in 2010 and is now one of the top social platforms. And it’s really all about aesthetics. Most users put a lot of effort into how their profile appears. Some select themes centered around a certain filter, mood or image. Logically, it makes sense that the more a location becomes popular on Instagram, the more we’ll want to go and take their own photos.
Results of Instagram
Vacation destinations that have become popularized on the app are having good and bad outcomes. Some locations are having negative effects due to the sudden traffic of Millennial influencers visiting. For example, Santorini, a beautiful Greek island, once had to place limits on the number of tourists allowed daily due to overcrowding, which led to a strain on the island’s ability to keep up with the influx of visitors. There is also an ongoing ethical debate about what locations are acceptable to put on Instagram. For example, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin is understandably a solemn place. But some Instagram posts at this location are just vanity shots, raising the question of what is too far for Instagram photos.
But it’s not all bad. Towns are often profiting from it. In 2018, a tiny town in New Zealand called Wanaka experienced a 14% boost in tourism after Instagrammers made it popular with photos of its beautiful mountains, lakes and views. The town started pursuing social media influencers with popular accounts. This ensured for the town that their destinations would be viewed. That led to more visitors, more people taking Instagram photos and more revenue for the community. And it’s become normal for our favorite influencers to take us along on their all-expense-paid vacay.
Affording a vacation
Unfortunately, most Instagram-level vacation destinations can be very expensive. It is important to be mindful when choosing a destination. I could take a week off and go to Hawaii, but that would mean going into debt. The average vacation price is upward of $4,700, and transportation is the largest cost. For Millennials working on a tight post-pandemic budget, it is not financially sound to take a hugely expensive trip. But we are having a vacation crisis. Employers are starting to force employees to actually use their vacation days. If it’s because of budget, check out this article on using your travel money wisely.
Instagram is a huge Millennial influencer, especially for vacation spots. Destinations that are looking to boost revenue should host professional Instagrammers as a marketing strategy. “Instagrammability” is a huge part of vacation decisions; this shows how dependent we can be on social media. This is not a bad thing; it just shows a cultural shift. If we see a photo of a beautiful place, it can lead to purchasing a ticket and checking it out for ourselves. But it is important to stay realistic. Set aside a small portion of your income each month to save for a dream vacation. If you are looking for interesting new vacation destinations, check out different hashtags on Instagram for some proper Millennial inspiration.
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