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13 min read | January 4, 2024

8 Most Popular Instagram Travel Influencers and Benefits for Your Brand

Instagram travel influencers have become integral players in the travel industry, shaping perceptions, driving trends, and connecting a global audience with diverse and enriching travel experiences. As social media continues to evolve, their impact is likely to grow, further influencing the way people explore and engage with the world.

Focused on the travel niche, this article identifies and explores a list of top Instagram travel influencers, showcasing the specific benefits travel brands can achieve by collaborating with these types of influencers.

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What Do Instagram Travel Influencers Do?

Instagram travel influencers create visually appealing content, sharing their journeys and adventures with a global audience on the popular image-sharing platform. Through captivating images, engaging captions, and compelling stories, they inspire and guide their followers in discovering unique destinations, hidden gems, and cultural experiences

Instagram travel influencers play a significant role in the travel industry, influencing the travel decisions of millions of people worldwide. They leverage their large followings on Instagram to create engaging influencer marketing content that inspires, informs, and motivates their audience to explore new destinations and travel experiences. Their role extends beyond showcasing picturesque landscapes; they act as storytellers, trendsetters, and travel guides, shaping perceptions and influencing travel choices while fostering a sense of community among their followers.

How Can Instagram Travel Influencers Benefit Your Brand?

Instagram travel influencers can benefit travel brands in several ways, leveraging their reach and engagement to create a positive impact. 

Here are some key benefits:

  • Brand visibility. Instagram travel influencers can significantly enhance your brand's visibility by featuring your products or services in their engaging and widely viewed content.
  • Authentic endorsements. Influencers provide authentic and relatable endorsements, creating a genuine connection with their followers and establishing trust in your brand.
  • Targeted reach. Collaborating with travel influencers allows your brand to reach a specific and targeted audience interested in travel, aligning your product with their passions and interests.
  • Storytelling impact. Influencers excel at storytelling. As a result, they can create a compelling narrative around your brand, showcasing its unique features and benefits in an appealing and relatable manner.
  • Social proof. Endorsements from influencers serve as powerful social proof, influencing the opinions and decisions of their followers who trust their recommendations.
  • Engagement and interactivity. Influencers foster engagement through comments, likes, and shares, creating a dynamic and interactive community around your brand.
  • Creative content. This type of influencer niche often has highly developed creative skills. By collaborating with a top Instagram travel influencer, your brand gains access to high-quality, visually appealing content that can be repurposed across various marketing channels.
  • Adaptability to trends. Travel influencers tend to be very adept at staying current with trends. As a result, with the right long-term relationship, your brand can remain relevant and resonate with modern consumer preferences.

8 Most Popular Instagram Travel Influencers

Now let’s get to the heart of this post: exploring 8 of the most popular Instagram travel influencers that are currently making waves in the travel community.

Murad Osmann

Hailed by Forbes as a top Instagram travel influencer, Murad Osmann (@muradosmann) is a Russian photographer and filmmaker known for his "Follow Me" series, which features his girlfriend, Nataly Zakharova, holding his hand as they travel the world. 

One of Osmann's most successful influencer marketing campaigns was his partnership with Airbnb. The platform's focus on unique and immersive experiences perfectly aligned with the "Follow Me To" aesthetic. The collaboration resulted in a travel guide series showcasing stunning Airbnb accommodations around the globe, from charming cottages to luxurious treehouses.

The campaign was a hit, driving significant traffic to Airbnb's website and increasing bookings for the featured properties. It also solidified Osmann's image as a trusted travel authority and Airbnb as a provider of authentic travel experiences.

Ultimately, with a follower quality score of 78.85% and an earned media value (EMV) of $14,901.86, Murad and Nataly's #followmeto campaign has become an iconic symbol of global adventure. Their signature pose has graced the walls of renowned venues like Times Square and Art Basel, inspiring wanderlust and making Murad Osmann a go-to figure for brands seeking to align with the spirit of exploration and awe.

Chris Burkard

Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard) is an American photographer and adventurer known for his stunning landscape photography and inspiring travel stories. Soaring high above the world, Burkard, who is also a leading Instagram travel influencer, captures breathtaking aerial landscapes that redefine the genre. His artistic vision transforms aerial perspectives into stunning masterpieces, often incorporating human or animal elements to enhance the narrative. With a follower quality score of 74.48% and an EMV of $4,378.08, Burkard has amassed a vast following, captivating audiences with his unique imagery and inspiring tales of exploration.

One of Burkard's most impactful collaborations has been with Patagonia, the outdoor apparel giant. This partnership goes beyond the typical influencer deal, as it's founded on a shared passion for exploration and environmental consciousness. Burkard has created stunning campaigns for Patagonia, showcasing their products in action through his captivating expeditions and adventures.

The success of this partnership lies in its organic nature. Burkard genuinely uses and believes in Patagonia's products, making his recommendations feel credible and authentic. He seamlessly integrates their products into his storytelling, showcasing their functionality and durability in the face of extreme environments. This approach resonates deeply with Patagonia's target audience, who value authenticity and quality outdoor gear.

Jennifer Tuffen

Jennifer Tuffen (@izkiz) is a Canadian photographer and travel blogger known for her vibrant and colorful photography showcasing her travel experiences. Renowned for her keen eye for detail and knack for storytelling, Jennifer Tuffen brings a fresh and lively perspective to the world of travel blogging. Moreover, with over 2.8 million followers on Instagram, a follower quality score of 72.23% and an EMV of $4,700.99, Tuffen has established herself as a powerful force in the travel influencer scene, helping brands reach a wide audience of keen travel enthusiasts.

One of Tuffen’s most notable campaigns was her partnership with Tourism Australia where she showcased various regions of the country, from vibrant cities to stunning natural landscapes. The campaign generated significant engagement with her followers, boosting interest in travel to Australia.

Jack Morris

Jack Morris (@doyoutravel) is an Australian Instagram travel influencer known for his epic travel adventures and breathtaking drone photography. Based in Bali, he embarks on globetrotting expeditions with his partner, fellow travel influencer @gypsea_lust. Their shared passion for exploration and unique photographic style has propelled them to the forefront of the travel influencer scene. With over 2.5 million followers on Instagram, a follower quality score of 80.00%, and an EMV of $18,184.30, Morris is a popular choice for brands looking to collaborate with top travel influencers.

One particularly noteworthy campaign was Jack’s partnership with Hilton Hotels for their "Seven Urban Wonders of the World" initiative. Instead of a generic global campaign, Hilton partnered with several micro-influencers, including Morris, to showcase specific hotels in unique cities. This allowed for more personalized content and deeper engagement with local audiences. Morris also used video reels and stories to provide a more immersive experience, taking viewers on virtual tours of the hotels and nearby attractions.

Cole Rise

Cole Rise (@colerise) is an American photographer and filmmaker known for his stunning travel content. With a follower quality score of 73.14% and an EMV of $3,427.01, brands that collaborate with Rise get the benefit of his exceptional photography skills, a massive and engaged following, and an authentic aesthetic that aligns with the travel and lifestyle niche, providing impactful brand exposure.

Rise has been approached by numerous tourism boards including both Australia and Iceland. National Geographic also sent him to Yellowstone Park and then asked him to judge its Instagram photography contest.

Hand Luggage Only

Hand Luggage Only (@handluggageonly) is the brand behind Yaya and Lloyd, a couple from the UK who have been traveling the world together since 2014. They love to experience new cultures, eat delicious food, and take beautiful photos. They are also passionate about sharing their travel experiences with others and encouraging them to explore the world in a responsible and sustainable way. With over 1.1 million followers on Instagram, a follower quality score of 84.02%, and an EMV of $13,138.23

Yaya and Lloyd's genuine passion for travel and minimalist packing shines through in their collaborations, making them relatable and trustworthy partners for brands. For example, they partnered with Osprey, a renowned outdoor gear brand, to showcase the versatility and functionality of their carry-on backpacks. They embarked on a 10-day trip to Iceland, packing only in Osprey's Farpoint and Fairview wheeled carry-ons. The campaign generated significant engagement on social media, with followers captivated by their ability to pack for diverse Icelandic landscapes – glaciers, waterfalls, and cityscapes – within the limitations of a carry-on. Osprey saw a surge in sales of their featured backpacks, proving the effectiveness of the influencer partnership.

Alex Strohl

Alex Strohl (@alexstrohl) is a renowned French photographer, author, and Instagram travel influencer, celebrated for his breathtaking landscape and outdoor photography. However, Strohl's influence extends beyond his artistic pursuits. He is also an active advocate for responsible travel and conservation, encouraging his audience to appreciate the delicate balance of nature and minimize their environmental impact.

Strohl's Instagram presence is a testament to his widespread influence, boasting a remarkable following of over 2 million, a follower quality score of 72.05% and an EMV of $1,148.46. In addition, Strohl's artistry has graced the pages of renowned publications like Forbes, Vanity Fair, and Gentleman's Journal, solidifying his reputation as a leading figure in the photography world.

Tara Milk Tea

Finally, Tara Milk Tea @taramilktea is a top Instagram travel influencer based out of Sydney. Known for her playful and dreamy photography, Tara has worked with several notable brands over the years, including Louis Vuitton. With a total of 1.32 million followers, a follower quality score of 72.13% and an EMV of $17,781.32, Tara Milk Tea is a sought-after Instagram travel influencer who offers travel brands a unique opportunity to reach a global audience through the lens of an Instagram travel influencer.

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