THE FALL OUT
Destinations across the world are being impacted from social media and mass tourism in more ways than one. Whilst the rise of social media has contributed to the problems throughout the world, we can’t discount human nature, ignorance and our overwhelming desire to destroy things.
But what role has social media actually played? Well it’s intensified the effects.
National Geographic reported that social media savvy travellers are increasingly drawing their destination inspiration from Instagram - but at what cost?
“Instagram, now six years old has more than 500 million active users sharing an average of 80 million photos a day” Carrie Miller National Geographic. In the same article she interviewed Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard) a photographer, instagrammer and influencer with a following of more than 3.2million, who has met tourists who have specifically travelled to locations he has photographed and or added them to their travel wish list. In fact he is quoted as saying “Now you’re less than 10 clicks away from seeing an image on Instagram to purchasing a ticket to go there”.
But what is the cost?
In the last six months since beginning this documentary, I have been bombarded with news articles and reports from all around the world of destinations being impacted, the closure of locations, mass tourism, selfie injuries and deaths. In a recent article in Australia, a Study found 259 people died taking selfies between 2011 and 2017.
Travel accounts, national and state tourism boards use social media and influencers to promote destinations to boost local tourism, but the amplifier effect of that is forcing the closure of locations and reprehensible damage. But I am not sure that Instagram can fully be blamed.
The closure of locations such as Helensburgh Tunnel NSW, The destruction and demolition of DuckBill Rock in Oregon, The Beach closed in Asia, The Great Orme Graffitied in Wales are the result of stupidity rather than Instagram directly, however in all these cases it was for a slice of InstaFame.