We love to travel. The experience of discovering new things, places, sights, tastes and smells fills each one of us with joy, yet many of us – 75%, in fact – are stuck in a rut, only visiting the places that Instagram tells them to and missing out on the winding backstreets, front-room restaurants and all the other hidden gems the world has to offer.
New research highlights a ‘sea of sameness’ on social media with more than 70% of travellers walking down the same well-worn tourist trail, and aiming to emulate the photos they see on Instagram, posting shot after shot of landmark sights. The independent study – carried out by InterContinental Hotels & Resorts – in Paris, London, New York, Shanghai, Dubai, Sydney and Mexico City, revealed travellers often feel they only scratch the surface of a city.
Further social media analysis also revealed that the Eiffel Tower in Paris is the most posted tourist site on Instagram, representing a staggering 10% of all posts worldwide, with Buckingham Palace the most-tagged site in London (21%) and Central Park topping the list for New York City (20%), pointing to the fact that tourists may just be skimming the surface by visiting so-called “must-see” sites.
Aston spoke to Bonnie Rakhit, ex ELLE UK fashion editor & travel expert to discuss the most symbolic sights, sounds, tastes, smells and feelings in these cities – that will connect travellers more deeply when they visit.