5 Ways to Promote Tourism through Instagram

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Instagram is the perfect platform for you to promote your business during the first phase of the travel stages – The Dreaming Stage. Then let your customers do the work for you by taking care of the final stage of travel – The Sharing Stage.

Here's a few ways to maximize your exposure throughout this important online medium:

1) Use Quality Content

Every image you post should look like it belongs in a magazine Instagram is a “dreaming” channel in the purchase process, so the images should make someone want to pack their bags immediately and run/fly/swim to your destination, whatever it takes!

Use bright, sharp images with a strong focal point. If the details in the image are blurry or too small, they won’t translate well on mobile.

2) Decoding Hashtags

Hashtags are not to be ignored! They are a search function for your images – hashtags allow strangers to find your posts when searching for their interests.

Avoid cutesy tags such as #sorrynotsorry for your brand, and make use of strong search terms and your unique branded tag or destination tags, such as #NZMustDo and #NewZealand. These will help people looking for tourism images to discover you.

Post the hashtags as a separate comment, and limit the number to 30 or less. (More than 30 will cause your post to be marked as spam.) Using irrelevant hashtags will also result in your post being filtered by Instagram.

3) Post Often

Instagram thrives on frequency (unlike Facebook). People will unfollow your brand account daily, but each high quality, tagged post will gain followers. You need to post often enough to gain more followers than you lose. You need to post a minimum of 2x times per week to see steady growth.

However, it’s always better to NOT post at all if you have poor-quality content.

4) Engage

Get active in Instagram! You want people to engage with your brand – you need to participate in the community and “give back.” Follow other brand accounts (yes, especially your competitors) in the tourism industry, travel Instagram bloggers, and fans of your brand.

Spend time each week liking and commenting on their posts, and finding new accounts to follow. This activity in Instagram will gain you more followers and engagement, as it increases visibility for your brand account. It’s a community - take part!

5) Recycle - User Generated Content

User generated content (UGC) is a great way to increase your content pool, if you follow the rules. You can supplement your tourism branded content by searching for beautiful destination images and re-posting them to your page, to inspire travellers and build your community.


  • Credit the user, using a link tag (@johndoe) and their name, to connect with their account.
  • Add your own hashtags and commentary on the image, as well as why it’s relevant to your brand.
  • Get permission when possible – there are several services who offer this feature.
  • Remove the image immediately with apologies if the content owner complains.


  • Use the image anywhere other than Instagram. It’s not acceptable to cross platforms with content.
  • Edit or repurpose the image – you’re “borrowing” it to promote the destination. Respect their art!
  • Pretend the work is your own.

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