Data from over 4,700 travel influencers shows what hotels, cruises, and other companies offer in partnership deals. Here are 3 key takeaways.

  • Many travel creators make a living through brand partnerships.
  • Jerne, a travel marketplace, examined partnership data from 4,723 creators and 325 businesses.
  • Here are three key takeaways, including how frequently brands expect travel influencers to post.

Travel is a popular niche within the creator economy, with some influencers earning five figures promoting their experiences with hotels, cruise lines, and tour companies.

These creators can cultivate very engaged online audiences who look to them for recommendations on cities to visit, places to stay, and even tips on how to become their own travel creators. Many travel companies provide free services or experiences in exchange for posting or pay a set fee to creators.

According to a new study conducted by the travel marketplace Jerne, many hotels, cruises, and tours expect creators with whom they collaborate to create at least four social-media posts per day in exchange for a hosted experience.

From September 2022 to October 2023, the platform examined 23,453 applications for partnership deals between 4,723 creators and 325 companies in order to collect data on how these collaborations look.

“Compared to industries like beauty and fashion, there is almost no information about the travel industry and the impact that creators are having,” Tim Morgan, cofounder and CEO of the company, told Business Insider. “We wanted to commission this study because we didn’t see any analysis about the partnership details, challenges, and opportunities between both sides of the marketplace; creators and brands.”

The creators polled were based in 84 countries and were registered on Jerne’s platform as travel influencers, advisors, agents, or tour guides.Ninety-eight percent said Instagram was their primary platform, 19% said TikTok, and 13% said YouTube.

The companies polled provided lodging, restaurants, cruises, or tours in 102 countries.

Here are three takeaways from the study:

  • In exchange for a hosted experience, most hotels, cruise lines, and tours expect four social media posts per day: According to the study, hotels offer two nights of accommodation for two people, including breakfast, but not transportation, in exchange for this content. Meanwhile, cruises typically offer seven nights for two people, including food and beverages. Tours include seven days of lodging for one person, as well as food and drink.”The emotional value that people put into travel is so high that travel companies haven’t really had to pay out creator fees, instead offering free stays or experiences, but I do expect that to change as more creators tap into affiliate marketing,” Morgan went on to say. “We might see them roll that concept more into the deliverables for companies because they’ll be able to make money from that long after the trip is over.”
  • Travel creators received an average of 170,944 impressions from the content they created per partnership, as well as 16,921 likes and 913 comments.”It just shows how valuable creators are for a company, whether that’s a cruise or a hotel, in driving up interest,” Morgan said in a statement.Morgan believes that, of the hundreds of companies on Jerne, cruise line Virgin Voyages is particularly good at forging long-term partnerships with creators because it truly understands the needs and demographics of travel influencers.
  • Female creators influence travel purchasing decisions more than male or non-binary creators: 85% of the creators in the study self-identified as female, 14% as male, and 1% as nonbinary. Morgan believes this is not surprising given women’s dominance in travel, including those who travel alone.

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