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Royal Caribbean International has launched a search for an ‘extraordinary explorer’ to fulfil the company’s first Instagram ‘Intern-ship of the Seas’, as new research confirms that the platform has redefined the way consumers book holidays.
The research, polling 2,000 consumers from Ireland and the UK, was commissioned by Royal Caribbean to find out whether or not social media is overtaking traditional channels of inspiration such as holiday brochures and comparison sites. The results show nearly half (48 per cent) of holidaymakers rely on social media for inspiration when booking a holiday and more than a third (34 per cent) claim they wouldn’t even consider booking a trip without first consulting social media.
To capitalise on this shift in the way holidaymakers think, Royal Caribbean is launching an Instagram ‘Intern-Ship of the Seas’. A first for the cruise industry, applications are being taken strictly via Instagram to find an ‘extraordinary explorer’ who will sail the seas and capture the unique stories, destinations and experiences of a cruise holiday. The successful candidate will travel three oceans, on three ships, for three weeks, during the summer of 2017 with food, drink, accommodation, flights and expenses covered by Royal Caribbean and will also be rewarded with £3,000.
The opportunity will maximise the candidate’s Instagram expertise as research confirms that half (51 per cent) of 18-24 year olds rely completely on social media when researching holidays and a third (37 per cent) of holidaymakers say that seeing their friends’ bragging posts from abroad has encouraged them to book a trip. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) after seeing holiday snaps on social media has even triggered a fifth of travellers to go as far as to book the same holiday as their friends.
Travel blogger and Totally Tourists guest blogger Johnny Ward, will select the winning candidate alongside a panel of expert judges including Travel Weekly Editor-in-Chief, Lucy Huxley and Royal Caribbean’s Managing Director Ireland & UK, 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.
Johnny commented: “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 storytelling 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.”
Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean’s Managing Director, Ireland & UK said: “With 25 of the world’s most innovative and spectacular ships visiting over 250 destinations worldwide every year, our guests can experience multiple destinations and cultures, all during the one holiday. Our cruise holidays are filled with extraordinary moments and we want to find a talented storyteller who can help us capture those unique moments and share them through one of the most inspirational social media platforms.”
The research also revealed the top ten social media wonders of the world. Although the French can lay claim to having the landmark most frequently photographed and shared on social media – the Eiffel Tower, the UK can be proud that Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge all feature in the top ten most famous global landmarks seen on social media by Irish consumers.
Top 10 social media wonders of the world:
1. Eiffel Tower (Paris)
2. Statue of Liberty (New York)
3. Big Ben (London)
4. Sydney Opera House (Australia)
5. Buckingham Palace (London)
6. Empire State Building (New York)
7. Great Wall of China (China)
8. Tower Bridge (London)
9. Pyramids of Giza (Egypt)
10. Grand Canyon (Nevada)
Applicants who think they have what it takes to capture pictures that stand out and inspire holidaymakers can apply by sharing their most extraordinary travel photo on Instagram, tagging @RoyalCaribbeanUK and #ExtraordinaryExplorer.
For further information on the Extraordinary Intern-ship, please contact Royal Caribbean press office on RoyalCaribbean@aikenpr.com or visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk/extraordinary-intern-ship/