Many of us are accustomed to seeing photos of Instagram users pouting at various exotic travel destinations around the world and think that Instagram is the best thing that happened to the travel and tourism industry. However, if one were to take a peek inside the industry, one would perhaps be shocked to know how much the sector has been negatively affected by the popularity of the world’s favorite photo-sharing social media network.
Just Too Many Tourists
Many places that had been relatively unknown are now thronged with tourists the year round helping to destroy the same environment that they have traveled thousands of miles to admire. Overtourism, as the new word has been coined is beginning to make a massive negative impact on local communities, and in some cases, entire countries in many ways. Some destinations are simply getting destroyed due to the number of footfalls; other places have become too expensive, while in yet others, the local infrastructure is on the verge of collapse.
Many More People Are Indulging in Leisure Travel
The rising affluence of the middle class and the impact of social networks like Instagram are resulting in a lot many more tourists on the go. Both travel and accommodation have become cheaper and have provoked the millennials who value experiences more than possessions to travel more. While the tourism industry has been delighted with the massive upsurge of tourists, the pressure on some of the world’s best-known travel destinations is causing them to come apart at the seams leading to a general deterioration of the tourist experience with overcrowding testing the patience of both the visitors and the hosts.
The Dominance of a Selfie Photo Culture
Before social media became popular, tourists tried to impress others by carving graffiti on the sides of heritage monuments or shot countless group photos on their Polaroid cameras to feed their narcissism. Now social media, particularly Instagram, is the hot destination for photos proving that the tourist had visited a certain destination, which in some way represented snob value. Instagram, in many ways, has brought to the surface, the human selfishness that seems to lie just below the surface all the time now intensified with engagement bought from marketing agencies like stormlikes.com.
The Checklist Mindset
Tourists across the ages have visited famous places for their heritage value, cultural or historical significance, beauty or something unique that has simply to be experienced in person. Circumstances permitting, a photo taken of the visit served as an interesting memento identical to the millions taken by other visitors. With Instagram becoming popular, travel photos are no longer restricted to family albums but available in the public domain prompting the emergence of a culture that makes the posting of the photograph more important than actually visiting the destination. Tourism, for many Instagram users, has become more of a list of tourist destinations that have to be checked off when the photos have been posted to impress friends.
Instagram has changed the face of the travel and tourism industry forever. While it has thrown into sharp focus many of the unknown tourist attractions and increased their footfalls. There are many occasions when the sheer power of Instagram content has overloaded destinations with too many tourists leading to the destruction of the very beauty that visitors seek to enjoy.
Walter Moore is a notable management consultant and digital marketing expert. He is an experienced digital marketer and has helped e-commerce businesses in all niches gain with his effective marketing strategies and guidance.