How Local Travel Influencers Could Revive Jamaica’s US$3.3 Billion Tourism Industry

By Franz Weathers

Last year, the country had record arrivals of 4.32 million visitors with earnings of US$3.3 billion. Jamaica’s tourism has been growing consistently at an average of 4% annually and it was anticipated that the annual growth rate would be in excess of 5% by this year. Of course, the entire industry has seen a sharp and almost fatal halt because of the global COVID-19 virus.

Due to the obvious importance of tourism to Jamaica’s economy, there have been quite a few initiatives that are being employed to help resuscitate the industry. One way I believe this could be achieved is through innovation and community-based tourism, powered by social media travel influencers.

Targeting Millenials

If I were to target any demographic when it comes to travel, it would be Millenials (18yr-34yr) and here’s why:

  • Young people ages 18 to 34 are most likely to spend more money on vacations than other age groups. 33% of polled millennials are willing to spend US$5,000 or more on vacations.
  • Millennials are also the generation that travels the most: 35 days a year. But Gen Z (5yr-25yr) isn’t far behind. They take 29 days a year.
  • Almost 90% say their planning and inspiration comes from social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

So, 90% of Millenials choose where to travel to based on inspiration from social media and Instagram just happens to be one of the most powerful tools for travel, as 70% of Instagram’s content is travel related. Lastly, 60% of millennial travelers are on Instagram.

This video will explain how tourism boards, hotels and other travel entities are using influencer powered campaigns to drive tourism:


Jamaican Travel Influencers

I’ve been a fan of travel vlogger Mark Weins for a few years now, he travels the world in search of local cuisines that he documents and posts to his YouTube channel. He has almost 8 million subscribers across his YouTube and Instagram accounts. I’ve also always wondered if he would be open to coming to Jamaica and if so what that would look like. I recently got my wish, he apparently connected with local Jamaican food bloggers @JamaicaFoodBoss and @RasKitchenTV and did an exciting and fulfilling food tour across Jamaica where he then posted several videos, one of which since April has already garnered over 3 million views, see below:

What if there was an initiative or platform that was designed specifically for local/regional travel influencers where they could sell bookable tours of the same experiences they’re blogging about? Do you believe this would help tourism?

This post was originally published on this site

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