5 ways Hospitality marketers can use Travel influencers

Social-media savvy travelers are making an indelible mark on the travel and hospitality industries. Social media influencers' reach on different social media platforms can equal over 5 figures in new bookings for travel brands. Influencers have become an integral part of many brands’ marketing strategies, as today’s consumers trust peer recommendations above all other forms of marketing.

Leveraging partnerships with travel influencers can help hospitality and travel brands reach a wider audience and boost engagement and bookings all while showcasing the brand in an authentic and organic way.

1. To build brand authenticity

Travel influencers don’t have to be celebrities or famous personalities – many top travel influencers are regular people who have gained a large social media following based on their appealing content. These influencers are trusted by their peers and followers and have positioned themselves as experts in the travel space.

Today’s consumers overwhelmingly trust recommendations from their peers. 92% of consumers trust influencers more than traditional celebrity endorsements or advertisements. This gives these social media influencers immense power in shaping how travel brands reach current and potential consumers.

Influencers have a strong impact on travelers because their content is genuine and trustworthy. They provide social proof for destinations and brands alike and confirm a brand or location’s credibility to potential guests.

2. To drive bookings

Millennials spend between $200 and 300 billion per year on travel – a number that is expected to continue to grow. The Millennial traveler prioritizes having experiences while traveling rather than simply purchasing things. As a result, the hospitality industry is finding new ways to market to Millennials and to offer them exactly what they are looking for in a travel destination.

Upon examining how Millennials select trip destinations, 75% were influenced by social media – a number much higher than for recommendations from colleagues, tourism websites, or news websites.

Instagram travel influencers have turned documenting their travels into a business and have gained cult followings. Partnering with successful, trusted influencers helps brands engage current customers and attract new fans.

3. To source brand ambassadors

Partnering with influencers is mutually beneficial for both the brand and the influencer. For a brand, the content shared by the influencer will drive customer acquisition and awareness. For the influencer, it's exclusive access, expenses paid, or sponsorship for posting.

One popular way to leverage influencers is by making them brand ambassadors. As a brand ambassador, influencers become an extension of the team and a spokesperson for the brand. To incentize influencers to post about your destination, consider offering a complimentary trip in exchange for posting on social.

These trips are an excellent way to introduce your brand to a new audience and drive more bookings.

4. To create organic, cost-effective content

Influencers, especially those on highly visual platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, are an excellent source of compelling content. Not only is the content appealing to consumers due to its relatability, but brands can also leverage it across all marketing channels.

Partnering with an influencer can be a cost-effective method to boost your content creation while helping the influencer expand their audience visibility and reach. It works both ways – an influencer can provide a brand credibility and vice versa.

Maximizing the effectiveness of influencer marketing is worth the relatively small investment. In the travel and tourism category, brands saw returns of almost $13 in earned media value for every dollar spent on influencer marketing – an amount that is expected to continue growing.

5. To cultivate trusted reviewers

Recommendations and reviews are one of the top ways consumers make travel decisions. Using influencers to review products and services helps convert potential customers into brand loyalists. Influencers can be a powerful source of feedback and inspiration. Endorsements from influencers can be an excellent way to reach a larger audience, boost brand awareness, and cultivate brand loyalty, but it needs to be authentic.

Choose influencers from your existing pool of fans and followers and focus on micro-influencers. These influencers – who often have around 50K followers – can achieve a higher engagement than that of influencers with over a million followers. Why? They are better at maintaining authenticity and avoiding the celebrity status of larger accounts.

Final thoughts

Travel influencers have such a significant, positive effect on hospitality marketing that many companies are spending a significant portion of their marketing budget on influencers. Today’s consumers seek authentic experiences when they travel and are fully aware of when someone is selling to them.

Using the traveler’s desire for information and inspiration compiled with their reliance on peer recommendations, the financial investment in influencers can provide massive returns.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

More insights and news from Emplifi

Top image: How to maintain authenticity with your influencer marketing

How to maintain authenticity with your influencer marketing

Emplifi Press:  Report Reveals Untapped Opportunities for Influencer Marketing in Key Industries

The State of Influencer Marketing 2023

Emplifi Blog: The influencer marketing stats you need to know this year

[Infographic] The influencer marketing stats you need to know this year

Image: Influencer Trends press release

Emplifi Reveals “Personal Interest In The Brand” Is Top Factor for Influencers When Selecting a Brand To Collaborate With

Emplifi Report - Social Media Customer Expectations

[Report] 7 key consumer expectations impacting social media success today

Emplifi - Top Beauty Influencers

The top 10 beauty influencers that brands need to watch in 2023

Emplifi - Finance influencers on YouTube and Instagram are on the rise

Finance influencers on YouTube and Instagram are on the rise

What makes TikTok influencers tick

What makes TikTok influencers tick?

Emplifi Press: Emplifi Social Benchmarks Analysis Reveals Best posting times on TikTok

Emplifi Reveals How Marketers Can Maximize Reach on TikTok to Engage with the Modern Consumer

Emplifi CX Index: Our social media predictions for 2023

Emplifi CX Index: Our 3 social media predictions for 2023

Top: Jayde Powell Q&A

Q&A with Jayde Powell: TikTok’s “deinfluencer” trend

Emplifi newsletter

Sign up for the latest insights and best practices to elevate your social marketing, commerce, and care.

Just some of our recent awards

MarTech Breakthrough Awards 2023 - Emplifi (Influencer Marketing Innovation Award)
Emplifi -  AI Breakthrough Awards 2023 - Best Text Generative AI Solution
CUSTOMER Contact Center Technology Award 2023
TrustRadius Top Rated 2024 Badge
G2 Badge: Leader Enterprise Spring 2024
Logo - G2: Highest User Adoption (Spring 2024)
Logo - G2: Easiest Admin Mid-Market (Spring 2024)
Logo - G2: Enterprise Leader EMEA (Spring 2024)
Award - G2: Users Love Us