Social media every day increasingly shapes the perceptions of travelers – since an image from Instagram is enough to inspire someone to travel. All this, however, at what cost? As reported in nationalgeographic.com, Instagram, after six years of presence, has more than 500 million active users sharing 80 million photos a day. Obviously, we have a love for the image and its symbolism, which seems to affect our travel choices.
“I see this desire for escape to all the beautiful sights, the will for action, because more than ever they are all attached to a mobile screen,” says photographer Corey Arnold. “But where does the inspiration of all these come from? From Instagram. ”
All this can easily be proved with numbers. For example, in 2015, the tourist board of a small New Zealand city (Wanaka) began inviting and hosting people with many followers at Instagram to publish their adventures. The result, naturally, was the largest increase in tourism across the country, a 14% increase for accuracy. These people, therefore, paid, somehow, the hospitality through their followers.
“I assume that following photographers at Instagram offers a more authentic expression than looking for inspiration in a tourist brochure,” says Johan Lolos, who began his career as a tourist photographer. This is, therefore, the power of Instagram as a marketing tool. People are dealing with Instagram 10 times more than Facebook, so 48.8 percent of US businesses are shown at Instagram, which is expected to grow to 70 percent, about.
“You are now just 10 clicks from the moment you see the picture until you close your tickets with the same destination,” says Chris Burkard, a photographer with more than 2 million followers in his account. “I’ve met people who traveled through my pictures without exaggerating at all … That was not the case 10 years ago.” All this phenomenon with the publication of experiences has not only created communities in which people can connect and share their personal moments, but has still illuminated many points on social and environmental issues. “The only way to sensitize people to the environment is to send them there,” says Burkard. “This is the first step to be an environmentalist – to care for. It has never been so perfect to be in nature. ”
What happens, though, if something resonates in too many people? Perhaps the darker side of Instagram appears when it causes overpopulation, environmental degradation and dangerous advertising tricks. “Many people are dominated by the self-promotion trend. They want to show that they live a perfect life, which is really stupid, “Trey Ratcliff, a photographer, says. “I think it’s more fun to be true, original, just to be your own self.”
Perhaps the most tragic of all, is when the desire to reproduce an experience results in an incalculable cost. In 2015, a 24-year-old Australian student was killed in an attempt to reproduce a photo of Instagram. An event which, unfortunately, is not the only one. The solution, however, to such a problem, what is it? Burkard believes that we all have the responsibility to publish accurate representations of the places we visit. “I often share the backdrop of my photo, especially when we get permission to go somewhere or do something that would normally not be allowed.”
The answer to the problem is obviously not to stop traveling but to change mindset for them. The point, therefore, is to try to visit a place that has not been widely promoted and to share his own experiences rather than just imitate others. Social media have a great influence on tourism. Now, one can shape all their experiences according to the images seen in the networking media, a totally unnatural approach to the trip. The case recorded a rise of 6.5%, reaching a total of 1.2 billion international trips.