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If it’s not on Instagram, did it even happen?

Whether it’s capturing that sunset shot of New York’s urban skyline or finding the perfect filter for the Pastel De Nata’s displayed in that quaint Portuguese café, travel has become as much about the photos we share as the experiences we enjoy.

In our ever-expanding digital environment, Instagram is being used as a live and authentic travel guide, replacing the glossy pages of even the most affluent magazines and guidebooks with a more accessible digital space. And with roaming charges being scrapped and Wi-Fi available virtually anywhere, we have instant access to the world’s most Instagrammable destinations.

The importance of the Instagram travel influencer

The plethora of visually stunning, in-the-moment photographs taken by young and relatable Instagram bloggers and influencers, is motivating more consumers to book flights and choose accommodation than any traditional travel agent can hope to contend with.

Carefully curated travel photography is inspiring younger audiences to discover local, culturally rich experiences which have a positive social and environmental impact on the local community. Sustainable travel is now aspirational, and travel brands need to know what makes these young and visually minded audiences tick.

From millennials to baby boomers

While students and graduates remain motivated by sustainable travel and off-the-grid experiences, the financial reality of modern life has hit this audience hard.

Brands are starting to adapt to the older ‘gap year’ audiences of the baby boomer generation who have both the time and money to spend on extensive travel, and adapt to the shifting priorities of university students, as they battle to balance student debts and career ladders with their desire to explore the world. 

Go exploring with Mapper360™

Our new proprietary Mapper360™ methodology complements other traditional research models by listening to thousands of people in the digital sphere. Identifying the specific interests, motivations and influences of social “tribes” allows us to deliver actionable insights about how to turn high-value audiences into new customers, based on what we know they’re talking about online and most importantly what content they connect with.

Want to connect with high-value audiences?

During a 9-month project with a Norwegian cruise line, we delivered real-time, robust personas via Mapper360™ Audience to inform an insight-driven content strategy, which generated a 134% uplift in YouTube video views and increased brand buzz by 157%.

Using the insight that students are more likely to seek gap year experiences that give a CV boost, we worked with one travel authority by developing a travel writing competition targeted at graduates, generating +19,000 clicks to site with a single competition post.

Stay ahead of the trends

Join us at The World Travel Market from 6-8 November, where we’ll be unveiling our Travel Trends Report 2018. Created using our unique insights methodology, we scoured millions of real-time data points to track and predict consumer travel intentions ahead of 2018.

Learn why your brand should be paying more attention to the older, baby boomer generation, what holiday destinations UK consumers are talking about online, and discover how Mapper360™ can help your brand to target the visually driven, sustainably minded audiences which are flooding the travel market right now.

Secure your own copy of our Travel Mapper Trends Report 2018, find us at the World Travel Market London, or email

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