Instagram: New Google for Travel


Instagram has a long history of trying to promote travel, largely through influencers that destinations pay to post stunning tourism photos. However, there are some travel startup companies that have developed strategies that go further—strategies that have investors betting that Instagram can be the next Google when it comes to selling travel.

One such example is Chicago-based startup Tripscout. The company has built its future around what it says are 30 million followers of its 100-plus Instagram feeds. Next, the company plans to start selling hotel rooms, through a private feed that users can access to request otherwise unadvertised room rates. Because people must request the unadvertised rates offered through its new channel, Tripscout skirts requirements that often require online travel agencies to offer the same price as each other and as the website run by the hotel itself. Additionally, users requesting discounts allows Tripscout to skirt the impact of the Apple privacy policy changes that allows Instagram users to limit how much advertisers can track their use of service.

Instagram has surpassed Google to become the #1 place where consumers begin to research travel, due to startup companies such as this one. Tripscout CEO Konrad Waliszewski comments that, “It’s the channel of the future. TripAdvisor mastered search-engine optimization in the early days of Google. We’re doing that for Instagram.”

(Skift, 06.02.22)

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