Instagram Influencers

Are you thinking luxury travel influencer sounds like a great job?  Thousands claim the title on Instagram, but few succeed in turning their posts into a profitable career. Those that do are amazing, but most are influencing other influencers in an echo chamber of those looking for free travel. As Instagram clamps down on fake followers and “pods” or groups of those liking and commenting to enhance each other’s status, the posers (and the term is so applicable here) are becoming apparent.  But there is a group of real luxury travel influencers and their presence is growing on social media. They have traveled the world, are close friends with the leaders in the industry and are on a first name basis with the top general managers at the best hotels.  They are an elite group of luxury travel advisors.

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Sailing the Mediterranean

History

The birth of the internet caused dislocations in many professions, but none so drastically as the world of travel. No longer did a travel advisor’s knowledge of online booking systems (GDS) offer job security. Outsiders could “speak” Expedia and the doors were open to all. Is today’s travel advisor adapting to this new landscape? Some are, some are not. The generalist/booking agent has not thrived, but long live the travel specialist. The career path of a luxury travel specialist is bright and may be the best job in the world.  The work is hard; the rewards fantastic.

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Dawn on the Masai Mara

Is There Demand?

Time spent researching travel online is second only to time “researching” porn. The demand is there (for the former) and the need for expert guidance to vet thousands of options grows daily. Those in the know have found travel advisors that they value equally if not over their financial advisor.  The large banks have private banking divisions to advise top clients on investments, including art, jewelry, and even pets. Many are now including leisure travel advice, the demand is there.

Russian River Cruise

Uglich,  Russia on a Russian River Cruise

Who Are They?

So who are these leaders (real influencers)  in this brand new world of travel advisors? They cover the spectrum in age, education and past experience. They all share a passion for exploration, adventure and are very tech savvy.

The best in the field spend months traveling each year to stay up to date. Their passion for a particular destination or type of travel (such as river cruising or wellness travel) may bias their personal preferences, but they know and have experienced a wide range of options. They have exceptional worldwide contacts to make anything happen and are not biased when advising by anything more than finding the best match for each client.

The amazing specialists I have met in my years in travel are very busy traveling the world, being wined and dined by those wanting to impress them all the while serving their clients 24/7 and making lots of money. The bad news is many have more clients than they can handle so do not seek to market themselves.  Many are sharing their expertise with a worldwide public on social media and you can find them there. Leading travel consortia like Signature Travel Network and Virtuoso have search engines to match you to the perfect advisor.  If you are lucky they will have room to add you to their exclusive list of clients.
Taormina
 Taormina

Or Become One?

If you have an overwhelming passion for travel and love sharing on social media, you should look into becoming a luxury travel advisor.  There are several excellent training programs today and finding a mentor in this welcoming industry is easy. The pendulum has swung from the death of the travel agent to the birth of the luxury travel superstar.  It’s a wild ride, but I guarantee you will love it.
Normandy
 D-Day Landing Beaches, Normandy, France

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