With the coronavirus pandemic, international travels have been put to a halt for the last 7 months. Who would have expected that travelling which was easily accessible is now a desired luxury for everyone, from the travel influencer, to the travel commoner and then travel workers who travel for a living.
Hello lockdown and goodbye travel.
However, there is one platform where it’s still possible to escape the outbreak: Instagram.
Instagram has enabled individuals to support people around them both emotionally and mentally through the period of solidarity and isolation. It is more than a social platform where one simply uploads a photo with hashtags and moves on from there. As more time is spent on scrolling either intentionally or mindlessly with an itchy thumb, behind each passing post lies a secret desire of individuals planning for their future travels.
The ultimate example of #InstagramVsReality, where individuals feel the uncertainty during this pandemic, provides the phygital experience which doubles up as an encouragement for millennials to travel with their thumb for as long as it lasts. This experience is intermediately aided by the functionality of Instagram Live function, where some travel influencers have come forward to create conversations with their followers through live interviews and Q&A sessions with the viewers. The conversation usually centred around places of interest, the pandemic and other related topics.
The opportunity for brands, while not being opportunistic, is to look at ways to reconnect and stay relevant with brand lovers and followers, enriching them mentally and emotionally through this alternative travel.