Culture Hack

Moving Beyond Insta-travel in 2023

From Peru’s Rainbow Mountain to Dumbo’s Washington Street, the insta-destination is at its zenith right now. Travel bucket lists and trips planned specifically “for-the-gram.”

Wynwood Walls (I confess I had a gram moment), and the now-ubiquitous angel wings are examples of how Insta-tourism can be used to an advantage, drawing people into downtowns and unexplored areas, but often these surges in tourism can perpetuate over-tourism and gentrification at the expense of local communities. And travelers seeking Insta-worthy moments may end up missing out on opportunities to connect to community and culture. 

Some brands are attempting to alleviate the consequences of over-tourism, with Airbnb most notably introducing its categories feature this year to elevate the accommodation over destination in the booking experience. However, when it comes to travel in 2023 it’s not just a question of where but how we travel that may be shifting. 

As Tiktok increasingly influences the culture, even how we drink, we’re already seeing that shift in travel content. Travel hacks that help us travel smarter, cheaper, more consciously. Reviews and how-tos that go beyond the image to educate and enhance the experience. There’s even a rather amusing communitytok on insta vs. reality. And with the continuing growth of communities such as the Black Travel Movement, there’s also an increasing importance of community and conversation influencing how we travel. 

In recent surveys, ~50% of Gen Z travelers and ~67% of Black travelers are prioritizing local culture in planning their trips. 41% of Black travelers specifically seeking connection to the Black experience in a local culture.

So, if you’re a brand trying to connect differently with travelers in 2023; think about how you can put the people behind the place first in how you show up. Opportunities to connect to the cultures and communities. And tips and tricks to enrich the experience all travelers can have in their journeys and destinations.

And to all the travelers with holiday wanderlust, go try the original negroni sbagliato at Bar Basso, I look forward to seeing you there sometime in 2023…

-Ed Hunt