Top Eight Digital Influencers for Travel

July 17, 2014

We live in the era of digital influencers — individuals with loyal social media followings whose words and images can motivate an army of consumers to book a vacation. Travel is a visual experience, so photo-driven social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have become the perfect fit for showcasing a destination’s attributes.

For DMOs, creating relationships with these online opinion leaders has become one of the most effective ways to tell your destination’s authentic story and drive awareness as well as bookings. Influencer Marketing is now big business in North America, with the latest estimate valued at $240 million.

These personality powerhouses have established consumer followings in a broad range of niches including travel, diving, food and sailing to name a few.

So who are these elusive digital story tellers and how can DMOs reach them to leverage their influence on target audiences? Here are our recommended top eight that you should get to know…

For Pinterest

ordinary traveler3 Christy and Scott from Ordinary Traveler. These two photographers travel the world for a living and share stunning photography along the way to their 29,000 followers on Pinterest. They regularly partner with companies, hotels and destinations.
the cultureist2 The Cultureist is an online magazine that covers small businesses, food trends, travel and culture. This digital outlet has 2,016 engaged followers on Pinterest with 46 boards to browse. Much of the content is derived from its contributors taking assisted press trips from DMOs which is also featured on the outlet’s website.

 

For Instagram

Kirsten Alana3 Kirsten Alana is an Instagram influencerwith more than 42,000 followers.  She specializes in luxury travel, cultural aspects and green tourism on her blog. Visit her website to learn more how she works with destinations. 

cole rise3 Cole Rise’s Instagram account has 956,000 eager followers with an average of 9-12k likes for each picture. This self-professed ‘escape artist’ shoots dramatic landscapes taken on his global travels. He’s open to working with destinations on assisted visits. His recent travels have included Iceland, Norway and Mauritius. 

ken2 Ken Kaminesky’s 9,700 Instagram followers love his distinctive shots all taken and edited on an iPhone—not a professional camera. To find out how to work with Ken, visit his website.
zach glassman2 Zach Glassman shares his wonderful imagery with 128,000 followers in Instagram. He is open to working with destinations. For more details, email him at zach@passionpassport.com
colby brown2 Colby Brown is an international photographer specializing in landscape, travel and humanitarian photography with more than 39,800 Instagram followers. View his online portfolio on his website. More information is there on how to work with him.
Brendan van Son2 Brendan van Son has a sharp eye for photography that is appreciated by his 9,200 Instagram followers. He is open to taking assisted trips to assist in content creation for his blog and Instagram feed. Brandan’s areas of interest include adventure travel, solo travel, group travel, photography and luxury travel. Check out his website for more information and his travel schedule.

These are just a few of our favorites. Who has your DMO worked with recently that you can recommend?

Written by Genevieve Pritchard

Genevieve is the Digital and Social Media Manager for DCI. As a content marketing extraordinaire she helps set the digital strategy for DCI, create marketing collateral and implement tactics across multiple platforms. She’s also worked on digital campaigns for DCI’s tourism clients including US Travel Association, Visit Korea.ca, Finger Lakes Wine Country and Visit California.

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3 Comments

  • Kirsten says:

    I’m blown away by the surprise mention! Thank you!! You chose great Instagram accounts to recommend that include some of my personal favorites, deeply grateful to be a part of the list.

  • Zippy Sandler (@zipporahs) says:

    Awesome list, and some of these influencers are friends, which makes it even BETTER. Don’t forget those of us with large twitter followings as well.

  • Christy says:

    Thank you so much for including our Pinterest account! I think it’s wonderful to see brands begin to realize the potential of Pinterest as a powerful platform for introducing products and destinations to a new audience.

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