By Ericka Rodgers

Just like most of us, it is difficult to make a living during these pandemic times. I can imagine that it is even worse for travel influencers. Some countries are not allowing travellers to enter from other countries, which I assume makes it hard for travel influencers to create authentic and engaging content for their clients and audiences.

So is it the end of this handsomely paid industry, or is there still hope for the travel influencer? I guess time will give us that answer.

The Business Side Of Being A Travel Influencer

I snap pictures all the time while on vacation. Does that mean I can contact businesses and secure a contract, or does it mean I am an influencer? Well, I am finding out that it’s a little more complex than that. According to the website, Stuff, it’s harder work than it appears. To attract clients in this industry, travel influencers can not run in the average category. They must take above average photos—a picture of you eating an ice cream cone will not bring in the big bucks. But, perhaps eating an ice cream cone while diving into a pool at a lavish resort might command more attention and dollars from a potential client. If you are thinking about being a travel influencer, you better believe that it takes hard work, dedication and plenty of business savvy.

The Effectiveness Of A Travel Influencer

I am sure that there may be different opinions on how effective travel influencers can be for a business. The assumption is that if a travel influencer can’t and does not reach their target audience, their influence will be ineffective. An outstanding photo of the destination they have travelled to can make all the difference for a client’s business. 

Of course, we must remember that a good or bad image or review is truly in the eye of the beholder. 

I can’t count the times that I have gone to a museum and have seen a work of art worth thousands of dollars, and I would scratch my head and wonder who would pay such a price for something that I thought so little of. Well, as I am learning about all the hard work that travel influencers put into their craft and how every client’s needs and requests are different, I can see it is not the easy, glamorous life we are led to believe!  In other words, it’s not always as simple as what the photograph looks like or how tasteful a dish is; it can also depend on what the client is requesting.

Authenticity versus Fraudulence

Have you ever watched an infomercial and wondered if they represented the truth about the product they were promoting? Well, you’re not alone; I wonder about that all the time! Does the product actually work?

It’s similar in the travel world. 

I would think that this job does need total authenticity. In general, they must always present themselves and their opinions as genuine. That means they should give accurate accounts and not inflate the number of followers on their social media platforms, make true statements about the posted product or photo, and give as honest answers as possible to any questions they are asked.

Each year, my family and I vacation at Gulf Shores, Alabama, and I take tons of photos. I am always worried that my photos won’t have an authentic look, but I am not relying on them to pay my wages! I am sure that travel influencers are even more worried about the same thing, being authentic or appearing fraudulent. Doesn’t everyone crave authenticity?

Making The Best Of The New Normal For Travel Influencers

I think that we can agree that travel influencers have their work cut out for them, thanks to this pandemic. Travelling is much more complicated than before with new restrictions, COVID testing, vaccines, quarantines etc. Thankfully, the world is slowly opening back up, and everyone can get back to work, so travel influencers are free to start planning and visiting most countries. 

I am looking forward to seeing what’s in store for them as they begin to reignite their careers. Like many, I enjoy seeing their photos and letting them take me to places often I can only dream of. They inspire me to board that plane and go check out some beautiful destinations for myself.

So what does the future hold for travel influencers? I believe that as we come out of this pandemic state and as the world opens its doors again, nothing can stop them from advancing to the top of their careers. As long as they strive to be the best, are business savvy, compelling and authentic, the travel influencer can’t go anywhere but up!