With the advance of technology and the continuously evolving ways in which travellers are exposed to and engage with brands, the world of travel has in recent years continued to create new ways to inspire people to explore the world.
Travel influencers have perfected the art of understanding and utilising these both technology and their power to inspire their audiences as they trek through the globe. So much so, that the latest quarterly Forbes Top Influencers lists, which cover a range of industries, from entertainment and gaming to comedy, also features a list of the world’s top 10 travel influencers.
These influencers have “turned social media platforms into fortunes and empires”. At the top of the list is Brian Kelly, the 34-year old founder of The Points Guy, a website that helps users learn the art of accumulating frequent flyer miles to use against their holiday trips.
Kelly’s journey began as an HR recruiter travelling across the USA to varsities, hunting for young candidates to join the firm he worked for at the time, racking up travel miles as he went along that even allowed him to enjoy first-class flights. Forbes describes Kelly as having “figured out how to game the credit card points and frequent flyer system a decade ago. He now leads a team of 20 and commands seven figures for social campaigns”.
Second on the list is Kiersten Rich (pictured above), who, having booked a trip on a whim with a modest budget, began documenting her journey through Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia on her now influential blog, The Blonde Abroad.
Taking the third position on the list is Russian couple Murad and Nataly Osmann, who accidentally became famous for their #FollowMeTo Instagram series of pictures that showed Nataly leading Murad by the hand to some of the world’s famous travel destinations. The couple is now working on a jewellery and travel accessories brand.
Forbes’ Top 10 Travel Influencers
- Brian Kelly
- Kiersten Rich
- Murad & Nataly Osmann
- Eric Stoen
- Damon & Jo
- The Planet D
- Louis Cole
- Johnny Jet
- Chris Burkard
- Kate McCulley