75% of travellers admit that their holiday snaps are adding a gloss to their globetrotting

Travelbag have surveyed over 2,000 members of the British public to find out how important their social media presence is to them, and whether their posts are reflective of their travel experiences.

A new poll by long haul tailored travel specialist Travelbag has shown that three-quarters of social media users confess that not all the photos they post are reflective of the experience they were having on their holiday, even though the majority of people claimed to update their social media in order to share those experiences.

This urge to ‘do it for the ‘gram’ is, the company believes, causing people to miss out on the true experience of a destination – and a handful of ‘must-gram’ locations is creating an ‘over-tourism’ problem of epic proportions.

52 per cent of social media users aged 16-34 stated that their social media presence was important to them, uploading photos of their experiences to share with their followers. And the promise of a good picture is clearly at the forefront of travellers’ minds more generally too, with 53 per cent of social media users admitting that they would take a photograph of a famous tourist destination just for their Instagram. One third of social media users said that getting Instagram worthy shots whilst on holiday was a priority and it’s not hard to see that impact, with famous destinations over-run with quasi-influencers queueing up to get the same shots.

But unsurprisingly perhaps, this incessant photo-taking isn’t just bothering onlookers. Over half of the 16-34 year old social media users surveyed admitted that the pressure of needing to capture ‘perfection’ for Instagram was negatively impacting their travels.

But Travelbag is urging travellers – especially those getting out and seeing the world for the first time – to put down the camera and explore the undiscovered side of the destinations they visit. Lesley Rollo, Managing Director at Travelbag, said: “We don’t believe travel should be a box ticking exercise, or an ‘Insta-sham’ designed to garner likes or followers: over 40 per cent of 16-24 year old social media users claimed that Instagram has an influence over their travel experience. But it doesn’t need to – etting out there has never been easier, and we encourage people to embrace that sense of adventure.

“It’s becoming more and more evident that people are simply following the herd when it comes to their travel, wanting to get the picture. For us, though, the real destination is what is happening on the other side of the lens. Social media is conditioning travellers to evoke perfection in every picture but in reality, those pictures are rarely the ones that would trigger a memory of a holiday or an experience – they’re just the ones people want others to see.”

In light of this study, Travelbag is launching a campaign that will bring people’s travel photos to life, telling the stories behind the shots to show how adventure and memories don’t have to be shared on social media to be meaningful.