Travel blogs have become an integral part of the tourism and hospitality industry. With over 1.8 billion travel-related internet searches per month, travelers increasingly turn to blogs to research, find inspiration, and plan their next adventure. This shift towards online content presents major opportunities for the travel industry to connect with potential customers.
The Rise of Travel Blogs
Travel blogs emerged in the early 2000s as travelers began documenting their experiences online in the form of written posts, photographs, and videos. Unlike glossy print magazines and guidebooks, these blogs offered unfiltered, insider perspectives on destinations around the world. Popular early travel blogs like Legal Nomads, Nomadic Matt, and Adventure Junkie attracted loyal audiences seeking authentic recommendations.
As blogging technology improved and platforms like WordPress, Blogger, and Medium simplified publishing, more and more travel bloggers joined the scene. A study by Hosting Facts estimates there are now over 440 million blogs on the internet, with travel being one of the most popular niches. Amid this cluttered landscape, many full-time travel bloggers have managed to stand out. For example, nomadic travel couple Kraig and Page of @ExploringOurGlobe have over 210,000 Instagram followers and 21,000 YouTube subscribers tuning in for their global adventures.
The Importance of Travel Brands
These influencer success stories highlight why travel industry businesses should pay attention to the flourishing world of travel blogs and social media.
Travel bloggers play a key role in driving travel inspiration and bookings. According to survey data from Mikhailov & Partners, 68% of millennial travelers turn to social media when deciding on a travel destination. Additionally, 81% say blogger endorsements play a strong role in influencing their hotel choices.
Beyond simply inspiring their readership, many travel bloggers and vloggers have evolved into micro-celebrities dubbed “influencers,” partnering directly with hotels, tourism boards, tour companies, and other travel brands to create sponsored content and advertise offers.
The rise of influencer marketing in the travel space is staggering. Research by Mediakix shows sponsored influencer content in the tourism industry has increased 1,000% year-over-year. Over 93% of marketers say working with influencers helps them reach audiences more effectively than traditional ads alone.
Major players in the online travel space have taken notice. Platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor have introduced influencer partnership programs that allow bloggers to monetize their content by sharing affiliate links and coupon codes with audiences. When strategically leveraged as part of multi-channel marketing strategies, these collaborations between travel bloggers and brands have the potential to make a significant business impact.
The YouTube and Instagram Effect
While blogs laid the foundation, two platforms in particular have helped transform travel influencers from niche figures into mainstream celebrities: YouTube and Instagram.
As travel vlogging exploded on YouTube, creators like Louis Cole (FunForLouis), Jack Morris (DoYouTravel), and Alyne Tamir gained millions of subscribers through cinematic 4K destination videos. Tourism boards have directly partnered with travel vloggers to promote their countries. Visit Norway credits a series of YouTube videos from filmmaker Devin Graham featuring thrilling stunts amid Norway’s fjords and northern lights, contributing USD 3.4 million in tourism revenue thanks to the increased exposure.
Similarly, perfectly composed photos on Instagram have triggered a major wanderlust moment, inspiring users to recreate the pristine beach vacations, dreamy sunsets, and mesmerizing landscapes they see influencers posing in. Popular accounts like @SaltinOurHair emphasize this aspirational aspect while working directly with island tourism associations to advertise deals.
In both cases, influencer content provides social proof, showing potential customers precisely what an experience at a hotel, attraction, or destination looks like through the lens of trusted personalities. Fueled by hashtag marketing, user-generated reviews, and geotagging features, travel blogs, vlogs, and Instagram accounts collectively wield immense power in enticing audiences to book their next trip.
Harnessing Travel Influencers’ Marketing Potential
Forward-thinking travel companies should explore partnerships with relevant influencer talent in 2023 and beyond. Here are four ways to leverage bloggers and content creators:
Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Have influencers test your product first-hand, then create written reviews, YouTube videos, Instagram posts, or TikToks highlighting their experience paired with custom promo codes and affiliate links. Track sales generated to measure campaign ROI.
Invite select travel bloggers on all-expense-paid press trips to experience your hotel or destination. Require that participants create photo galleries, blog coverage, or video footage to showcase the location to new audiences.
Temporary “takeovers” allowing influencers to showcase travel brands on their channels can garner significant engagement. The Catalonia, Spain, tourism board ran an effective Instagram takeover campaign amplified by travel, food, and family bloggers that generated nearly 2 million video views under the #CatalunyaExperience hashtag.
Establish long-term co-marketing relationships and recurring revenue streams through dedicated ambassador or affiliate programs for top-tier content creators in your niche.
As vertical video content surges on apps like TikTok and vloggers with cinematic production value continue attracting millions of travel subscribers on YouTube, tourism industry businesses need to embrace influencer marketing across platforms. By strategically partnering with relevant travel bloggers, your brand can tap into their creative expertise and loyal fanbases to inspire travelers that you are the perfect destination, tour operator, hotel, or activity provider to choose for their next adventure.
Beyond inspiring travel bookings, blogs and vlogs play a broader role in enriching cultures and economies across the globe. Thoughtfully crafted stories spotlight hidden gems off-the-beaten path, driving tourism dollars to underrated locales while benefiting local communities. Representation also matters greatly — diverse blogger perspectives make travel far more inclusive.
As technology progresses, immersive formats like VR and 360-degree video allow anyone to vividly experience destinations before visiting. What does the future hold for travel blogging amid this innovation? The possibilities span from live broadcasting thrilling adventures to detailed virtual reality tourism simulating exactly what it feels like to explore distant cultures.
Global Impact of Travel Blogs
Beyond commercial success, bloggers increasingly recognize their power in presenting sustainable travel options and lifting marginalized communities. After the Philippines’ Boracay Island closed due to environmental damage from over-tourism. GadgetMatch blogger Michael Josh helped redirect traffic to communicate the area’s reopening procedures and promote lesser-known yet equally stunning locations to relieve pressure on Boracay.
Through her blog, wheelchair user Cory Lee highlights accessible activities at destinations worldwide so travelers of all abilities can pursue adventure. This level of representation within the travel blogging community is creating a shift towards inclusion. Diverse bloggers covering topics like family travel, and solo female journeys. Or LGTBQ+ experiences inspire broader audiences to feel secure navigating the planet without judgment.
Travel vlogging continues evolving alongside advances in live-streaming software. Editing tools, drone videography, and cameras offer 5K resolution or buttery-smooth hyper-lapse capabilities. As virtual reality matures, apps like HoloTrip offer photorealistic VR experiences transporting users meticulously. Rendered versions of Rome, Paris, and 200+ global destinations via headset. Resources like Google Earth VR take interactive three-dimensional travel content further, from ballooning over mountains to street-level museum tours. Expect ingeniously adventurous bloggers to incorporate emerging extended reality (XR) functionality. Producing immersive experiences that teleport audiences directly inside far-flung cultures without lengthy downloads or cumbersome headset requirements.
Case Study: Marriott Partners with 23 Video Creators for Stop-Motion Campaign
Recognizing both the influence and creative potential stemming from travel bloggers and vloggers. Marriott International’s Moxy Hotels brand developed an innovative campaign spotlighting sites across Europe. The Moxy Manifesto initiative recruited 23 video creators spanning photography and animation. And influencer talent from 11 countries to capture stop-motion scenes promoting locales adjacent to Moxy Hotel properties. The project yielded 53 unique video assets amplifying lesser-known attractions to inspire localized travel. Commentary celebrating visitors appreciating each destination’s cultural heritage. Hidden gems reflected Moxy’s mission to enable immersive exploration for next-gen travelers. In addition to accumulating over 5 million YouTube views. The asset library provides Moxy with an ongoing stream of engaging social content.
The influencer marketing strategies showcased throughout this article can amplify brand reach when aligned with corporate values like sustainability. And inclusion that resonates in today’s climate. By collaborating respectfully to tell authentic stories instead of overly promotional ads. Bloggers and brands collectively have an opportunity to transform the travel industry. landscape into one that empowers. And enriches communities globally for generations to come.
The website on which this article is published, TravelsType.com, is an online travel magazine designed to inspire wanderlust and adventure. Travel blogs and vlogs highlighted here like ExploringOurGlobe and FunForLouis. SaltinOurHair exemplifies the engaging content our publication strives to produce as well. Our goal at Travels Type? To showcase amazing locations like those featured by ConnollyCove.com so audiences can fully immerse themselves in destinations before visiting. Check back regularly as we aim to fuel your discovery with blog posts, and dazzling photographs. And insider recommendations curated by our team of travel journalists. Bon voyage!