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Wanderlust, Wine, Westeros, Wildlife

  
#TravelTuesday is a popular hashtag, but many use the hashtag to showcase their photography. Photo retrieved from
Adam Brown Social Media Command Center Social Media Studio.

Sept. 17 was #TravelTuesday were social media user posted photos of themselves on vacations, in different countries or experiencing new cultures attached with the hashtag.

#TravelTuesday is when social media users share their travel experiences or express feelings of wanderlust. For instance, National Geographic’s tweet asked users to share stories of strangers helping them out when they were travel. Some revealed strangers helped them monetarily in a foreign country, shared food and had a laugh. Also, the hashtags a quick and easy tool to get business exposure.


#TravelTuesday can be a great marketing and storytelling platform. National Geo Travel had the highest influencer rating of 95 with their tweet that  encouraged people to share stories. Photo retrieved from Adam Brown Social Media Command Center Social Media Studio.

The hashtag can be an informative source for users to discuss their positive and negative experiences on travel basics, tips and advice from where to find scenic drives to surviving in an airport to getting wine through U.S. customs.

One Twitter user, @InsightTim, shared an article from Food & Wine warning travelers about how certain foods and other tasty gifts could be a customs issue. For example, wine is allowed in checked bags, but fruit is off limits in any bag. The article provided tips on how to transport wine bottles safely as well.

 
There was an array of travel posts about tips, advice, environmental articles, personal stories, photography, marketing and advertising. Photo retrieved from Adam Brown Social Media Command Center Social Media Studio.

More Than Just a Hashtag
Many travel companies, photographers, journalists and bloggers used the hashtag to promote their travel products, services and photography. The total post volume was 16,000 mentions predominantly from Twitter. The sentiment score was 93.2 percent positive and 6.8 percent negative.
Most of the #TravelTuesday posts were positive like the one above, which focused on encouraging travelers to visit Venice, Italy. Photo retrieved from Adam Brown Social Media Command Center Social Media Studio.

However, some people utilized the hashtag as a platform to discuss the negative impacts of travel or “overtourism,” particularly at popular destination sites. Responsible Travel stated the effect of overtourism can increase rental prices, create more traffic and pollution, scare away wildlife and deteriorate environments.

Cities like Dubrovnik, Croatia has become a popular travel destination thanks to the success of “Game of Thrones,” according to The Guardian. The HBO hit frequently filmed scenes there during its run. The publication reported Dubrovnik had “around three million visitors” and “around 400 cruise ships” in 2018. As a result, the city experienced an increase in pollution because of cruise ships and other smaller boats burning fossil fuels at an alarming rate. This is a global issue as well.

Other social media posts focused on the negative environmental and economic impacts of global tourism. Photo retrieved from Adam Brown Social Media Command Center Social Media Studio.

Condé Nast Traveler reported Amsterdam; Boracay, Philippines; Angkor Wat, Cambodia; Santorini, Greece; Barcelona, Spain and other places have experienced overcrowding, large amounts of waste, unruly behaviors of tourists, crumbling ancient ruins and the well-being of their citizens. The publication referenced an 2017 article focusing on the negative effects of tourism.

One of their contributors, Tyler Moss wrote, “At Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, where the ruins of a massive 12th-century Hindu temple complex draws three million visitors per year, the influx of tourists has spurred the growth of nearby urban areas, resulting in a shortage of groundwater that scientists worry could trigger a sudden collapse of the ancient monuments.”

While traveling to new places, travelers need to be aware of their potential environmental and economic impact.

New Laws to Preserve
To battle these issues, cities are enacting new laws to decrease the effects of overtourism. For example, CNN reported Rome passed a law banning street drinking after 10 p.m. in 2018. In January 2017, Barcelona passed a law limiting accommodating tourist rentals. Then recently, Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation stated Maya Bay will be closed until 2021 to allow the ecosystem to return to its “full condition.” These laws are necessary to protect and conserve the environment. While visiting another country or somewhere in the U.S., travelers should be mindful of behaviors and how they are treating the environment.

#TravelTuesday was a highly popular Twitter trend Sept. 17. Photo retrieved from Adam Brown Social Media Command Center Social Media Studio.

While #TravelTuesday is a fun hashtag to participate in, it is a powerful platform to increase awareness about taking care of the environment and being respectful in other countries and communities.