virtual experiences of travel

Social Media: Where Will The Virtual Travel Wind Take Us?

published on: 04.08.2023 last updated on: 07.02.2024

The polls are in, and social media has officially changed travel as we knew it. This is only natural, as social media has practically taken over so much of our lives over the past decade. ‘

From humble beginnings, with forums and message boards, to Myspace, and now TikTok and Instagram, among many others, taking the main stage — Social Media seems to be here to stay.

Social Media: A Saviour For Travel Enthusiasts

Can someone keep count of how many times I use the word ‘social media’? But how exactly has it changed travel? Has it changed the destinations we are visiting? The food we are eating?

Who are we meeting along the way? Those are a lot of questions to unbundle, yet in this article, we are going to attempt to tackle them to the best of our ability while also touching on other elements of how technological advancements have changed the travel world for good.

The central theme of this article shall be looking into areas that are currently trending on social media while looking into the reasons these destinations have gotten such a big boost recently.

Faro, Portugal – Sharing Is Caring

Faro, Portugal - Sharing Is Caring

Although Portugal itself has been a popular tourist destination for longer than social media has existed, it has seen a recent boost lately. An uptick in bookings has occurred in Faro thanks to its very Instagrammable architecture.

Social media sites have been snapping and sharing pictures of the beautiful buildings in Faro, including its age-old churches and coastal destinations. It has been speculated that sharing countless pictures online has persuaded other travelers to visit the region. Even tags, such as “best transfers from Faro airport” have seen businesses receiving many more bookings.

At face value, it definitely seems that social media is facilitating the advertisement of both sightseeing and business, all created by users rather than professional advertisers.

The entire concept of “user-generated content” has been popularized in academia, with researchers looking into how the advertising sphere has rapidly changed with the advent of social media. Although we won’t go into detail, there are countless resources discussing this topic, which are well worth a read.

Santorini- Pearl Of The Instagram Crown

Guess what has been shining in the social media these days? It’s a mesmerizing island situated in the Aegean Sea and 200 km southeast of the mainland of Greece. This photogenic destination is heaven for most bloggers and YouTubers. 

Blue-domed churches and white walls are the perfect background for any social media post. Let me tell you an intriguing fact about it. Santorini was not such a popular place for a few years. It was only because of some influencers and social media vloggers that the destination has been gaining immense momentum. 

Social media enthusiasts love to capture Oia, which is the favorite destination of tourists. It might get a bit difficult to capture videos and pictures after the cruise ships get docked. 

Dubai, UAE – Globalization On Steroids

Before the advent of technology, spectacle and excessive decadence were slightly more tame – this has definitely taken a U-turn since social media landed in Dubai. The interconnected world fostered by globalization has enabled the seamless movement of people, resources, and ideas, allowing Dubai to position itself as an international hub for commerce, culture, and leisure.

Social media platforms have acted as powerful amplifiers, showcasing the city’s iconic skyline, luxurious resorts, and diverse attractions to a global audience. Instagram-worthy images of towering skyscrapers, pristine beaches, and luxury shopping centers have ignited wanderlust and shaped travelers’ perceptions of Dubai as a glamorous destination.

Furthermore, the rapid dissemination of travel experiences, reviews, and recommendations through social media has facilitated the rise of Dubai as a trending hotspot, enticing millions of visitors to explore its unique blend of tradition and modernity.

In this dynamic interplay between globalization and digital connectivity, Dubai has brilliantly leveraged its unique offerings to become a compelling and alluring destination for tourists from every corner of the world.

Thailand – Influencers And Authentic Local Experiences

Thailand - Influencers And Authentic Local Experiences

Travel influencers have played a pivotal role in making Thailand a popular tourist destination by showcasing its stunning landscapes and cultural richness.

However, this influx of influencers and tourists has also brought with it a number of challenges, including issues of over-tourism, environmental impact, the building of countless resorts and hotels to meet demand, and cultural commodification.

While influencers definitely contribute to Thailand’s popularity, it’s crucial to address these negative consequences to ensure the long-term sustainability and authenticity of the country’s appeal. Although we are closing on a more sobering note, it is imperative that we, as users of the internet and social media, look into both sides of the spectrum.

Hawaii- The Dream Destination

For years, Hawaii has remained the top travel destination, and social media has simply increased its craze among people. With lush rainforests, active volcanoes, and mesmerizing beaches, the destination offers something unique for every traveler. 

Travel influencers have found out that the Hawaiian Tourist Authority made complete use of vibrant visuals for creating content. Travelers all across the world are in awe of the breathtaking pictures and videos. One of the most powerful strategies in this place is using the #LetHawaiiHappen hashtag.

This hashtag throws light onto the experiences of people by encouraging them to share their stories of Hawaiian vacations. People often use this hashtag in combination with other trends, such as #SundayFunday. This engages potential social media visitors. 

The Bottom Line

The internet is one of humanity’s most useful inventions, allowing people from all over the world to connect with each other, share experiences, and motivate and grow together. Yet, when looking closer, there are apparent a number of downsides, with creativity, genuineness, and the simplicity of what makes us curious humans seems to fade away.

With the bombardment of information we currently have to deal with on a daily basis, it is difficult to locate what’s real. Look deeper. It is deeper than social media, and there you will find the truth.

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With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer quickly. Find her sharing her profound thoughts and opinions on social media, lifestyle, beauty, and social business.

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