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Wading through a sea of sameness

16th January 2020
Posted by Aston Avery

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.