26 Oct 2023 | Author: Adam Boother

Who are travel influencers and how are they shaping the travel industry?

The emergence of travel influencers has brought a huge transformation in how people engage with and make decisions about travel experiences, services and products. Charismatic and relevant, these content creators harness the power of social media to inspire and take their followers on epic journeys around the world. In this article, we’ll explore how travel influencers are influencing travellers and the travel industry, and identify some of the most popular travel influencers of 2023.

Giving first-hand travel advice - Travel influencers have taken on new roles as educators and advisers. As well as sharing everything from vibrant carnivals to breathtaking landscapes, they help their followers navigate complex travel restrictions and health precautions and give practical tips on how to stay safe.

Taking travel browsing beyond brochures - Gone are the days when booking a holiday meant spending weeks browsing glossy travel brochures and trawling high street travel agents. Travel influencers have stepped in, replacing traditional marketing channels with authentic and relatable content that resonates with a younger, more digitally-savvy audience. Their captivating photos, vlogs, and engaging storytelling make followers feel like they’re sharing the adventure with them. 

Driving brand awareness - Following travel influencers isn’t just about getting inspiration for great places to visit. They also affect how people spend their money, by sharing their favourite tech, clothes, luggage and much more. By following some of the most respected influencers, travellers can gain invaluable tips on how to kit themselves out for a successful journey, as well as hearing about must-wear brands. By collaborating with influencers, travel providers and brands can stay relevant, gain valuable insights about what their customers want and drive growth.

Making travel more inclusive - Travel influencers have played a crucial role in making travel more accessible. By sharing their diverse experiences, they’ve shown that exploring the world isn’t limited to the privileged few, and their ability to connect with a wide range of audiences has diversified the travel community, making it more inclusive and less elitist.

Sharing authentic experiences - In an industry often criticised for over-photoshopped images and unrealistic portrayals, travel influencers have brought authenticity to the forefront. Many are celebrated for their honesty, sharing not only the glamorous highs of travel, but the darker sides too. This transparency has helped travellers better prepare for their trips and be safer abroad, without putting a dampener on wanderlust. 

Shaping travel trends - Travel influencers can influence destination choices, as the places they visit and showcase in their content often experience a significant boost in tourism. Popular Instagram spots, hidden gems, and off-the-beaten-path locations can be vicariously discovered and explored, opening up a whole new world of opportunities and ideas. 

Advocating sustainable travel - As global concern for the environment and sustainable travel grows, travel influencers are using their platforms to promote eco-friendly and responsible tourism. Many are leading the charge by advocating for practices that minimise the negative impact of travel on local communities and ecosystems. This newfound emphasis on sustainability has had a significant impact on the travel industry, prompting more travellers to make ethical choices when planning their trips.

Some of the most popular travel influencers in 2023

Tara Whiteman @taramilktea Instagram Followers: 1.4M

Tara Whiteman is a creative from Sydney, Australia who dedicates her work to documenting her daily lifestyle as Tara Milk Tea. She showcases her adventures around the world with a strong focus on food and drink.


Christian LeBlanc @lostleblanc Instagram Followers: 644K

American filmmaker Christian LeBlanc gave up the 9-5 to travel the world. His posts chronicle his international travels and he has a strong following of fellow creatives and digital nomads.


The Bucket List Family @thebucketlistfamily instagram Followers: 2.9M

Author and National Geographic journalist Jessica Gee shares expert tips on how to navigate the world with children. As of 2023, the family had visited over 80 countries together.


Murad Osmann  @muradosmann Instagram Followers: 3.4M

The Russian photographer and his wife Natalia Zakharova have been top travel influencers since their series “Follow Me To”  went viral in 2012.


Influencers can’t influence without mobile data

If you think it seems like influencers must spend huge amounts of time on their smartphones, you’d be right. An Influencer Agency report found that the average influencer with a following of over 50K spends nine hours on their mobile devices every day, of which 400 minutes are dedicated to social media. That’s well more than double the average mobile phone user. 

Influencers may look like they’re living their best lives exploring and soaking up the sun, but it’s important to remember they’re still working. Capturing content and posting it is only part of the picture, and serious influencers must also dedicate hours of their day to responding to followers’ comments and keeping up engagement levels. The study found that social media and WhatsApp took up most of their mobile use, followed by camera function, phone calls and miscellaneous apps. 

Mobile data is an intrinsic part of any travel influencer’s work, and it’s safe to say that the vast majority would be lost without their mobile phones. Find out more about why eSIM is fast becoming the first choice for international travel —  and influencers —  here.

In other news...
Recent posts and news:

Your travellers want 5G at their destinations

We’ve grown up with successive generations of mobile tech, with 5G... Read More

Must-ask questions when choosing your eSIM...

Looking to launch an eSIM business, but not sure where to start?... Read More

Here is what’s new in versions 2.2.8 &...

It’s been a busy month for new features in the latest eSIM Go... Read More