How do influencers increase their travel and tourism market profits? So say the hoteliers

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – With the opening up of the travel world, influencers are back in motion. Some hotels welcome this news, such as the Langham Hotel, located on Fifth Avenue in New York City, USA.

Louise O’Brien, Regional Director of Public Relations for America at The Langham Hospitality Group, described the hotel people as hardworking and innovative.

“They know how to invest their photography and content creation skills,” she explained, adding that they often pay attention to the hotel, highlighting things no one thought they would do, which makes the hotel you find it interesting ”.

O’Brien stressed that the “Covid-19” pandemic has contributed to the revitalization of the hotel even more, by connecting with influencers who specialize in the content industry regarding holiday stays, revealing that this approach is here for standing.

But O’Brien’s enthusiasm is not shared by all hotels.

Gail Beer, owner of the Dorp Hotel in Cape Town, Africa, calls them “Influenzaz”. She says she gets 5-6 phone calls a week from people who are not at odds with what the hotel policy represents.

“Taking a picture with clothes that barely cover the body in a hotel room does not help us, we are not behind clients,” she explained.

Bear pointed out that it is enough to take a quick look at the hotel website to understand why, as it displays carefully curated interior designs, with intimate and attractive spaces.

“Everything online is exaggerated, presented as magical or wonderful,” says Bear, who goes against what she asks in her diary for some real magic at her hotel, such as the staff singing so spontaneous Happy Birthday, or discovers a chameleon in. The garden.

Richard Hanlon, owner of the magnificent Bujera Fort Hotel in Udaipur, India, shares Beer’s view, explaining that “the problem with influencers is the lack of quality oversight,” noting that “someone should rate them on TripAdvisor.”

He described the regularity of receiving strange requests from influencers, such as the search for five rooms for three nights with free transfers to the airport and free alcohol, stressing that these are not the type of customers the hotel seeks to attract and serve.

“Most of the people who contact us are 18-year-old girls who are trying to fill their void by trying to get a free gift,” he added. He continued: “When you search for them on the Instagram app, it becomes clear to you that they have bought their followers and are paid for their ads.”

“Do not do it for free stays”

Despite this, Hanlon and Beer are always quick to express their admiration for professional journalists and established publications that agree to collaborate with them, and have been very successful with this type of partnership.

Hanlon quoted a recent article about his hotel in House & Garden, explaining that the journalists were professionals and that the hotel received reservations just hours after the article was published in the magazine.

“These posts are usually not looking for free payments,” he commented. Influencer Jessica Wright, known as @bontraveler on Instagram, supports this view.

“The first thing I say to people who want to be influential is not to do it for free stays,” Wright explained.

Wright, which began its activity in 2014, stressed that exploitative hackers discredit the real influencers, adding that this reflects people’s underestimation of the value of the work offered by people like her.

Tourist trips raised their heads ... as well as tourism influencers!
Credit: Irving Sandoval / Adobe Stock

“When we are in a place, we shoot non-stop from sunrise to sunset. I see it as my duty to capture a destination, inspire followers to go to it on social media and post information about it. “She compared her work to a rigorous sales process that guides people through the various platforms they frequent before booking their flights.”

growing industry

But with the resumption of post-pandemic travel, research by the Center for Marketing Impact shows that this type of partnership represents a large and rapidly growing market. The center expects the industry to grow to $ 16.4 billion this year alone, with 75% of brands sharing an influential marketing budget.

This has created a space for another type of business to thrive in the market, such as a consulting business such as Sidewalker Daily or Travel Mindset, linking the world of influencers and the brand / marketing industry.

Sidewalker Daily co-founder Nina Zadeh noted the huge gap between influencers’ perception and reality.

“People tend to categorize influencers as those people who sit by the pool or who are in the Four Seasons all day, but the space in which an influencer moves while traveling is really stressful,” she explained.

She added, “You are there for the business, with the intent to meet some of the goals agreed with your client.”

Tourist trips raised their heads ... as well as tourism influencers!
Credit: Maridav / Adobe Stock

Zadeh drew attention to the traditional barriers the industry has faced on its way, with hotels accustomed to hiring a photographer to take pictures and present a complete product, costing thousands of dollars, with a talent they hope is unique.

She explained how brands can now split their entire production budget to work with multiple image and video content creators, who can make the perfect underwater photo or highlight their location by getting a photo from a drone.

Tourist trips raised their heads ... as well as tourism influencers!

“This is a high-end product at a very competitive cost compared to what was previously paid for,” Zadeh added, noting that “these influencers have an audience that travel brands want to attract.”

Judd Broadus, vice president of Travel Mindset, confirmed this, citing statistics.

She explained, “Participating in the influencer blog takes about 3 minutes, compared to less than 53 seconds on some travel sites, and we found that the posts get more interaction compared to the more expensive traditional platforms.”

Broadus noted that its company uses a special program to search for the right influencers for this task.

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