Travel bloggers’ content influences tourists to visit certain destinations, according to experts.
Eighty-seven per cent of millennials said they utilise social media for travel inspiration, and 52 per cent of consumers said they made plans to visit a specific destination based on an image or video they saw from friends, family, or peers on social media (up from 43 per cent in 2017), according to studies from Google and Ipsos.
Travelling does not always have to be expensive if you travel on a budget, according to Dolly Dib, a Jordanian travel blogger, who always travels on a budget, especially when she first started travelling as a university student.
“I wanted to create content for people online to show them how they can still travel wherever they want and enjoy not only the world, but also to explore Jordan, as there are many beautiful places in the Kingdom to visit for people who may not be able to travel,” Dib told The Jordan Times.
During the pandemic, Dib decided to take the time to explore Jordan and do more domestic tourism, due to restrictions on international travel.
“Everybody during the pandemic was on social media, especially TikTok, and people wanted to know where they can go as everything was closed, even restaurants, which is what I focused on in my videos as I started to post places in Jordan to visit which most people did not know about before,” she added.
“My travel blog includes details of everything from costs, links, restaurant names and much more. All presented in Arabic, as most of my viewership is from the region, especially the GCC,” Dib said.
“Jordan offers various geographical destinations, there is an option for all ages and lots of options are family friendly, in addition to diverse day trips which do not require staying overnight, which is also a great option,” Dib noted.
According to tourism expert Raja’a Jazzar, social media plays a “huge role” in increasing tourism.
“People prefer seeing other regular people like them sharing experiences of travel and more, because they relate to them, they feel like they can do what the blogger is doing, different than when they see a celebrity, for example, doing the same thing,” Jazzar said.
“It is important to promote our country as a touristic destination, not only for foreign tourists but also for the locals as many of Jordanians do not know about the great heritage of the Kingdom,” Jazzar said.
People use social media as “a travel planning tool,” another social media expert, Saif Kurdi, told The Jordan Times.
“Most people nowadays, if not all, use social media to research, select and plan their trips. Which is why it is highly important to have a strong social media presence for any country, ministry of tourism, or local travel blogger,” Kurdi said.
“There are many hidden spots around the Kingdom which no one knows about, but, thanks to Instagram and TikTok, such places are not hidden anymore, such as “Om Al Namil” in Irbid,” Kurdi added.
Lamia Jallad, a 27-year-old Jordanian, uses social media as her primary source of inspiration for her trips.
“In the past, we used to rely on travel agencies to book our trips and even the activities we get to do and sometimes, lots of those activities would not match our interests. However, thanks to social media and travel bloggers, we can now pick and choose and book everything directly and easily by ourselves,” Jallad said.
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