Contributed by Jesús Parrilla, Principal of Luxury Frontiers
Over the last decade, social media platforms saw the rise of unexpected stars - influencers. A rapid to fame group of creative and talented individuals who shared their magnificent life with the outside world. This furiously spilled over the travel space with globetrotting influencers that fundamentally changed the way a wide audience thought about a world more reachable, driving up the consumption of travel products.
Influencers placed themselves in the center of their communication strategy, a protagonist in the content and authority in the field, using their power to affect the purchasing decisions of a vast legion of followers. Many travel brands saw the advertising and exposure opportunities that top influencers brought to the table as storytellers and content generators and rushed to associate with them in some way.
A year into the COVID-19 pandemic and with the hope that the rapid deployment of the vaccine in every corner of the world, one can´t help to notice that the crisis has upended the social media space with influencers and followers alike cooped up at home, spending more time on social media platforms, reinviting themselves, wishing away time and eager to break free from lockdowns and non-essential travel.
At the same time, this period has been used by many of us for individual and collective reflection about the value of things, our day-to-day lives, our actions, our purpose, and exploring the deeper recesses of our feeble consciousness. This reflection is slowly becoming a catalyst for change that is giving way to new travel influencers, a new breed of mega influencers being created and driven by our self-persuasion, a communal pull marketing deriving from our realization about the relationship among Mother Earth, society, and humankind.
In this new scenario,
Nature is an influencer.
Protected areas are influencers.
National Parks are influencers.
State Parks are influencers.
Wilderness is an influencer.
Reforestation is an influencer.
Conservation is an influencer.
Rewilding is an influencer.
Regeneration is an influencer.
Preservation is an influencer.
Biodiversity Protection is an influencer.
Environmental Conscience is an influencer.
Impact (positive) is an influencer.
Sustainability is an influencer.
Making peace with Mother Nature is an influencer.
The pandemic has taught us painful lessons and highlighted many deeds we should not be proud of. A new normal vis-à-vis Mother Earth is starting to rule the travel influencer space where brands, as they look to rebuild and reemerge from the crisis, will benefit from a consumer shift towards more ethical and sustainable travel choices influenced by a transformational commitment to earth stewardship.