Should You Pick a Destination Based on its Instagrammability? Millennials Do…
Posted on 07 February 2019 by starttravel.co.uk
The once-humble holiday snap has changed - largely due to that photo-posting behemoth, Instagram.
These days, we're more likely to pick a holiday for its "Instagrammability" than for anything else - that's according to research by one UK home insurer, which found 40% of millennials prioritise how Instagrammable a destination above things like cost and availability of alcohol.
The study asked more than 1,000 millennials (18 to 33-year-olds) what factor was most important when choosing a holiday. After how Instagrammable the destination was (40.1 per cent) came cost/availability of alcohol – 24 per cent; personal development – 22.6 per cent; chances to experience the local cuisine – 9.4 per cent; and opportunities for sightseeing – 3.9 per cent.
But why is Instagram such an important factor for millennials?
How we're viewed online has become hugely important since the rise of Facebook. Instagram allows users to post images of themselves that could be viewed and liked by hundreds, thousands - or even millions. And then there's the possibility of growing one's follower - or fan - base. Today, everyone has the opportunity to attain a certain kind of fame - and Instagram is one of the most effective ways to do it.
But it’s not just about carefully-chosen locations or having someone handy behind the camera. Instagram lets you edit photos with a diverse range of tools - not least of which are its filters.
However, while filters can make a good image look great, they can't work miracles. Filters or no, a snap of a cloudy daytrip to Great Yarmouth is unlikely to turn you into an Instagram superstar (although it might).
And equally, even if a traveller does take a stunning photo of themselves on a Thai beach or under an Icelandic waterfall, they may not be spending that night in equally delightful surroundings. They could, quite possibly, be staying in a £5 hostel or a bedbug-infested guest house! Yet that’s one of the most attractive aspects of Instagram - you can carefully curate your image to be as intrepid and successful as possible - even if your means and lifestyle are in reality far more modest.
Making people envious?
There's no getting away from the narcissistic element of Instagram; it gives us the opportunity to proffer an image to the world that might be far from accurate. And it allows us to make others envious - something that many of us enjoy, but few of us admit to!
But is being envied a good thing? Out in "the real world", it could well be bad for us. As PsychologyToday's Dr Mary C. Lamia said:
"Imagine having someone dislike you, or even hate you, because you have an attribute, a possession, or a privilege that they want and are lacking."
"Envy can be hazardous to the person who is envied. For example, should you believe someone who envies you? If you are involved in a negotiation, you may want to pay attention to whether or not that person is envious. Researchers found that where social comparisons exist, for example if the person with whom you are negotiating thinks your life is better than his own, envy is triggered which promotes deception."
But in Instagram World, should we be so concerned with being envied - or indeed feeling envious? Viewing people on IG enjoying themselves in beautiful locations is arguably far less negative than if we had those feelings in real life. After all, we’ll very probably never meet that person. IG is a distilled version of ourselves, souped-up with filters and augmented with pithy descriptions - perhaps on some level, we all know that.
And what positives can we take from IG? More than 70 per cent of Instagram content is now travel-related, which suggests we’re more in love with travel than ever. Indeed, Instagram has actually boosted the tourism industries of countries like Iceland and New Zealand, principally because those nations boast such Instagrammable locations. As Conde Naste's Mark Ellwood said on CBS News recently, "New Zealand has an area that focused on Instagram in its tourism marketing. Numbers went up 14 percent."
It's clear that millennials - and many other age groups - love nothing better than to post their travel pics to Instagram and moreover, to choose those destinations based on their Instagrammability.
What's also clear is that travel and Instagram now go hand-in-hand - at least until the next social media phenomenon takes off.