The search for an explorer to fulfill Royal Caribbean International’s first Instagram ‘Intern-ship of the Seas’ is launched today.
This comes as new research by the line confirms that social media is a key source of inspiration in consumer holiday booking habits.
The study of 2,000 UK and Ireland consumers was commissioned to determine the role that social media plays in inspiring holidaymakers.
The results show nearly half (48%) of holidaymakers rely on platforms like Instagram for inspiration. More than a third (34%) claim they would not consider visiting a destination without first consulting social media.
A third (37%) say that seeing their friends’ bragging posts from abroad has encouraged them to plan their own holiday.
‘Fear of missing out’ after seeing holiday images has triggered a fifth of travellers to go as far as to book the same holiday as friends.
As a result, the line is seeking applications via Instagram to find an ‘extraordinary explorer’ who will sail the seas and capture the unique stories, destinations and experiences of a cruise holiday.
As part of the role, the candidate will travel three oceans, on three ships, for three weeks, this summer with food, drink, accommodation, flights and expenses covered by Royal Caribbean and will also be rewarded with £3,000.
Applicants who think they have what it takes to capture pictures that stand out and inspire holidaymakers can apply for the role by sharing their most extraordinary travel photo on Instagram, tagging @RoyalCaribbeanUK and #ExtraordinaryExplorer. Agents can apply too.
Travel blogger Johnny Ward, who next month is set to become the youngest person to visit every country in the world, will select the winning candidate alongside a panel of judges including Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley and Royal Caribbean UK and Ireland managing director Ben Bouldin.
The judges will mark applications against strict criteria to select the successful candidate. Submissions will be judged on a number of elements including visual appeal, storytelling ability, originality and inspirational qualities.
Bouldin said: “Royal Caribbean has a fleet of 25 ships visiting over 250 destinations around the world, meaning our holidays are positively teeming with extraordinary moments. In a first for the cruise industry, we’re looking for a talented storyteller to capture those moments and bring them to the world via Instagram.
“When it comes to choosing a holiday, we know social media plays a crucial role in the decision making process for consumers. Knowledge and personalisation are then key to convert that idea into an actual cruise holiday, which is the crucial role our agents play. ”
Ward added: “This research proves that social media is integral to how we live our lives and book our holidays.
“Royal Caribbean has cleverly used this insight in their new Intern-Ship role and is hunting for a storyteller extraordinaire that can use Instagram to inspire others to explore the world.
“I have created a living out of my travel stories but social media is positively teeming with budding storytellers out there looking for a big break.”