Luxury travel companies and hotels need to have impressive social media profiles if they want celebrities to take notice, a panel of well-known faces at the Ultratravel Forum said.
“Our smartphones are everything to us; we spend a lot of time looking at people’s posts on Instagram and Twitter, of people we know and of hotels and places, so if we see something we like there, we’re likely to book it,” said Storm Keating, TV producer and wife of singer Ronan Keating.
“Images posted on Instagram give us a much more personal and current view of a place, rather than the same old pictures on a company website,” she said.
Sky News presenter Sarah-Jane Mee agreed, saying: “If you search Google for hotels in Croatia, you’ll just get the same old 10 places coming up, whereas on Instagram, I discovered a luxury eco reserve that was much more appealing.”
But all the celebrity panel – which also included F1 reporter Natalie Pinkham and author Celia Walden, who is married to Piers Morgan - said there were also pitfalls to their own use of social media.
“I never post when I am in a destination,” said Walden. “You only post something once you have left.”
Ronan Keating agreed: “We once had paparazzi turn up within minutes of us posting something on a ski holiday before we really twigged on to be more cautious about what we Tweet, for example.”
When it comes to he and his wife’s travel plans, he said: “Protection of our privacy is everything and we really appreciate attention to detail and bespoke arrangements that show people are thinking about what we need and like.”