The Power of Influencer Partnerships in the Hospitality Industry

By Shannon Correia on 6 September 2023

The hospitality industry is no stranger to influencer collaborations. It’s a natural link for sharing aspirational lifestyle content from a trusted source. But in an ever-evolving market, hotels need to ensure that they are creating the right strategies and campaigns to draw in modern-day travellers. Here’s a guide to ensuring that your influencer marketing is aligned with your brand values.


Appealing to Modern-day Hotel Guests


Today’s travellers have an updated set of expectations and preferences. One of the top priorities for all kinds of consumers is brand values, for instance, authenticity and sustainability. People want to ensure that their values are understood and aligned with those they support. When it comes to hotels, guests also value autonomy, convenience, and personalisation.

This is why having a defined brand personality is so important. Without it, you’re missing out on the opportunity to connect with and captivate audiences to build long-term relationships.


Influencer Storytelling for the Hospitality Industry 


Storytelling plays an important role in influencing the guests’ perceptions of a hotel and inspiring the stays that they could eventually go on to book. Today’s guests seek and enjoy an outsider’s perspective in addition to seeing the hotel’s own marketing. 

Working with the right influencer can create fresh, relatable, well-produced and curated content that audiences can connect with. When an influencer is trusted, the endorsement is seen favourably and acts as modern-day word-of-mouth marketing.


4 Steps for Effective Influencer Campaigns


Here are 4 steps that hotel brands can apply to ensure that their brand personality and values are in alignment with the influencers they collaborate with:

1. Define your brief and objectives

It is important to create a brief for the creator and the brand which states their expectations and objectives, like coverage and KPIs. It should also include the hotel’s values and any other relevant details along with visuals and moodboards to inspire the creator and their storytelling. This will ensure that the content produced for the campaign and/or collaborations align. 

2. Be selective with influencers

Consider the influencer – who they are, what they stand for, and who they connect with – as an extension of your brand. They need to be relevant to your industry and their style of content creation should match. Working with a variety of influencers (for instance, micro-influencers with engaged followers) can help your brand broaden its reach among your ideal target audiences. 

3. Curating content

Influencer trips are approved in advance, so be sure to take a step further and plan the details for their stay in advance. On one hand, you want to create realistic expectations for what their followers will experience, and on the other, you want to make the most of their stay by enjoying everything the hotel has to offer. Effective partnerships tend to go beyond simply hotel content by also emphasising the surroundings with local culture and nearby guest experiences.

4. Adapting

Gathering feedback from influencers is essential. Welcome both positive and negative feedback, and work towards creating lasting relationships and ensure that you’re meeting the needs of your desired audience.  Ultimately, the relationship you have with the influencer will be reflected in authentically produced content. Likewise, it is also important to monitor the effectiveness of campaigns in terms of numbers. While great content is one thing, ROI is another. Adapting based on performance is key to growth.


Successful Collaborations Between Hotels and Influencers


There have been many successful partnerships between hotels and influencers over the years. According to a report by kolsquare, “travel influencers continue to have a major impact on the industry, and their networks have become veritable search engines for planning a trip.” The report states that AirBnb was the most mentioned hospitality brand last year, with over 16,000 mentions by influencers across social media platforms.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples and the lessons that can be learned from hospitality brands collaborating with influencers.

Photographer and travel influencer Jack Morris has an audience of 2.5m on Instagram. He works with well known brands such as Hilton and the Four Seasons, as well as lesser known brands like Badi. His style captures the natural beauty of landscapes and luxury travel at locations all around the world.

Having established himself in the industry as a premium travel photographer creating aspirational content, he’s an ideal influencer for brands to work with. When working with an influencer of this magnitude, brands can expand their reach significantly across a range of platforms and benefit from the association of working with a creator of Jack's calibre. It also creates the opportunity for creators to share a story of their first-hand experiences from their unique point of view.


Giraffe Manor is an Insta-famous sanctuary and boutique hotel in Kenya. It rose to fame five years ago when Ellen DeGeneres, who has an avid interest and invested in Gorilla conservation, shared a post about feeding the giraffes at breakfast. Today, the hotel’s Instagram grid is full of creators sharing their extraordinary bucket list experiences, so it’s no wonder the manor is booked up years in advance.

This goes to show that striking up the right collaboration can have a lasting effect. One visit from the right person can catapult a unique destination into social media fame. By offering extraordinary experiences and including influencer marketing that compliments your brand values as a key part of your marketing strategy, you can become a world-famous destination that forms part of people’s bucket lists for years to come.

As the hotel industry continues to evolve, engaging influencers that align with your brand is key to achieving success.


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