The superficiality of “Travel Influencers” on Instagram is so unashamedly blatant that it’s almost amusing to look at their highly filtered photos followed by Rumi-isk captions about life and dreams and fluffy things.
I know numerous travel bloggers who genuinely love travel and share the beauty of this world while respecting the culture and tradition of the place. I am not against pretty photos or influencers in gorgeous dresses, but with the whole idea of marketing and associating Travel with photos of food baskets floating in water covered in rose petals or posing in front of air balloons without revealing the fact that they paid for the whole setup. You would understand my frustration if you knew that the photo of Gate of Heaven in Bali (made popular by Instagram) is nothing but a mirror trick. And that is exactly why the whole “fakery” of travel influencers bother me.
Like many travelers, I truly admire the wonders of nature and feel fortunate to have seen a few of them, so imagine my shock and heartbreak when I came across the truth behind Gate of Heaven photo. I felt betrayed by all the “travel influencers” who never revealed that it’s FAKE.
My sister visited Bali this year and shared a video of the queue and the actual scene at the Temple. The waiting period was 2.5 hours. This effect is achieved by placing a glass under the camera.
In case you are interested, here’s the total cost of the picture:
Donation – 26000 IDR
Sarong – 24000 IDR
Tips to the photographer – 5000 IDR
Petrol – 15000 IDR
Scooty Rent – 60000 IDR
Total – 130000 IDR
The result is stunning, no doubt, but it raises serious questions about the ethics of new-age travel influencers.
I have always been impressed by the mesmerizing photos of Cappadocia (Turkey) and have wondered how travel bloggers get the perfect shot with beautiful settings every single time. A unique background of hot air balloons, colorful rugs and a table with delicious looking breakfast. Fearing that it might be another fake shot I dug further to get more information. Fortunately, it’s all real, but the whole setup is done by the hotel staff and isn’t free at all.
Neither is the food for eating. The table is set for Instagrammers to click and capture the moment. And of course, there’s a queue for it too. If the balloons are not visible, only then the rooftop is open for other visitors to take pictures. This is the rooftop of Sultan Cave Suites and it can cost you as much as $180 for one night.
A lot of other hotels also provide these rooftop services for a price. But well, no one reveals them in the caption, do they? Why so pretentious!!! Why pretend that you magically came across this setting, that there wasn’t a huge queue of people watching you pose for pictures while waiting their turn.
Where is the magic of traveling if everything is made-up? I know the picture looks beautiful, but it lost all the charm after I read about the truth behind it.
No one wears heels to a hike. No one eats 50 pancakes for breakfast. I thought I had seen enough, but then read about travel influencers adding clouds to their pictures. Of course, we all brighten up our pictures, play a bit with contrast and saturation to make the picture appealing but adding clouds or removing construction sites is totally misleading. I fail to understand this fabrication of reality.
So, in short, if you are planning to travel – do not trust “Travel Influencers” on Instagram! I prefer to post questions in travel groups on Facebook, where real travelers share real opinions and advice. That was how I was able to see bioluminescent in Tasmania.
Related Posts : The stunning Tasmanian Landscape
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