What’s Trending in Licensing: Travel photography and the freedom of solo travel

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The month of July marks some of the hottest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It also marks one of the busiest travel months of the year, encouraging a major travel trend we see starting to gain momentum: Solo Travel.

In 2018 alone, Dublin Airport reported that 31.5 million travelers (57%) passing through their airport were traveling alone. This indicates that there is an increased need to market to individuals embarking on their own solo adventure.

Pericnik by Witold Ziomek on 500px.com

Solo travelers are not relying on tour guides anymore. Instead, they are looking for ways to connect with a destination and share it with the family, friends, and followers in a more authentic way. There is also a shift to using technology to find new and alternative routes. Utilizing apps such as ‘google maps’, or one of their biggest competitors ‘HERE WeGo’, which provides extensive offline options and features, aids in the exploration of hidden treasures. Travelers share their discoveries on social media, generating experiential reviews for future travelers through the visual documentation of their journey.

These destinations become even more discoverable thanks to the ability to geo-tag and hashtag these images, generating elaborate visual maps for travelers to reference. This not only helps travelers decide on a destination, but increases photographer discoverability when travelers and businesses alike search for images representative of these destinations.

waterfall hot spring by Sam Brockway on 500px.com

With more solo travelers searching for unique experiences, there has been a shift of power in the travel photography market. Travel agencies don’t want to look like travel agencies anymore—everyone is looking for a more authentic visual representation of a place. This generates excitement around how exclusive or off-the-beaten-path a particular element of the destination may be. The more elusive and remote the scene is, the more interest travelers appear to take—in a bid to experience the true hidden gems within a destination.

Traveler by Da Miane on 500px.com

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