, 24 tweets, 21 min read Read on Twitter
I vetted a press release yesterday titled "Instagrammable Spots You Won’t Want to Miss in XYZ." This is problematic on so many levels. I wanted to throw my hands up in despair, cry, run away, throttle my inbox. Instead, let's break things down here. /1
There's been a lot of talk lately about whether Instragram is ruining the travel experience. In fact, 48% of Instagram’s 1 billion users say they rely on the social media platform to help find new destinations to travel to. /2
Instagram is an easy way to get eyes on a destination. We are bombarded with information that says Instagram - and Instagram influencers - should be part of your #marketing strategy. /3
Unfortunately, this onslaught of Instagram influence can have devastating consequences on people, cultures, and natural landscapes. In a single photo, a place is flattened. It's a two-dimensional depiction of a moment in time, void of context. /4
Yes, Instagram images *look* nice, but the fallout from this flat depictions can be incredibly problematic. @missfilatelista recently wrote about this for @CuriousMag_Read. I recommend taking the time to read this article. curiositymag.com/2019/05/28/pro… /5
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read What else is wrong with flouting "Instagrammable" locations? I dove into the problems of geotagging not so long ago. (adventuretravelnews.com/generic-geotag…) Jackson Hole (@VisitJH) launched a campaign last year to get people to stop tagging destinations in the area, and rightly so. /6
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH People are getting hurt. People are getting lost. Natural landscapes are being destroyed. Cultures are being appropriated. In no small part thanks to the Instagram culture. /7
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH Travelers: What can you do? First, put down your device. Exploring the world isn't about putting on a wide-brimmed hat and posing against a pretty background. It's about actually listening to and learning about a place, a culture, and people. You are a visitor. /8
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH How can you travel responsibly? @umarket is a great example of responsible travelers who are also influencers. Please, take the time to read and really absorb these tips on responsible travel. uncorneredmarket.com/responsible-tr… /9
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket But travelers are only part of the solution when it comes to the myriad of problems Instagram - and other social platforms - has unleashed on the world. /10
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket Destinations, DMOs, and tourism boards: You are complicit. You have a responsibility to Just Say No. You need make it very clear what is and is not acceptable behavior in your destination. Your local community *must* be involved in this discussion. /11
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket Locals don't want visitors clogging their streets and turning their picturesque neighborhood into an Instagram background? Set guidelines and rules to keep unpleasant visitation experiences at a minimum - AND ENFORCE THESE RULES. /12
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket I have to assume by now you've heard of #overtourism. This doesn't just mean a lot of people in a particular place. It also has to do with the way in which outsiders interact with a destination. Want to know what overtourism *really* means? Read this: adventuretravelnews.com/what-does-over… /13
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket "But my destination doesn't have an #overtourism problem!" A nice, quiet place can be overrun by irresponsible Instagram activity in a matter of hours. Just ask Lake Elsinore, California, which was overrun by the superbloom a couple months ago. /14
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket Every single person working in the #travel and #tourism must care about #overtourism, and they must be mindful of their role in helping to combat it. (adventuretravelnews.com/why-adventure-…) /15
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket There is no destination that should be trying to sell itself based on backgrounds that look nice on #Instagram. The world is a much richer, multi-dimensional place filled with meaningful stories. /16
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket Stooping so low as to market a place based on its Instagramability is an insult to the history, people, culture, and traditions that have shaped a particular destination over the course of generations. /17
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket Any destination that aspires to sell itself by sharing its "Instagrammable" locations shouldn't be surprised when uninformed travelers with no real interest in supporting the local economy in a meaningful way show up in masses. /18
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket It's unfortunate when Instagram overruns a place because it happens to have a beautiful historical street or an awesome display of flowers. But when an destination specifically sets out to attract this kind of traveler, it is a *BIG* problem. /19
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket Destinations: You can do better. And you absolutely must. You hold a huge key to helping curb the #overtourism problem. /20
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket Sending out press releases like the one I received yesterday is short-sighted, lazy, not well considered or conceived, and downright dangerous. /21
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket Despite this asinine press release - that I promptly discarded, BTW - I'm not losing hope. My colleague and I have started collecting examples of destinations working to combat overtourism is active, real ways. We hope to share some of these soon. /22
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket In the meantime, if you come upon innovative, thoughtful campaigns or strategies that destinations are implementing to better manage tourism or attract the travelers that benefit their communities rather than destroy them, please share them with me. /23
@missfilatelista @CuriousMag_Read @VisitJH @umarket These are the stories we want to amplify. The destinations we want to highlight as a model for doing right in the industry. Because clearly there are destinations out there that can use some guidance. /24
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