Chasing the Aurora Borealis

Excerpt from this article in the New Yorker:

They’d been in Inari for four nights, and had seen a faint glow one evening, after being roused by the hotel’s Aurora Alert. It hadn’t impressed them. “Definitely not worth being woken up for,” they said. They talked about the disparity between photographs of the aurora borealis and what you can actually see, making some technical point that I didn’t take in at the time, and grumbled, “They ought to tell you about this.”

We discussed why the aurora often looks so much better in photographs. He explained that a camera on a tripod, set for a five-second exposure, takes in far more light than the human eye does when it looks at something, and consequently it produces a more vivid image. A camera can turn even relatively weak displays into dramatic pictures—and these images can then be subjected to digital enhancements. Posted online, the pictures are automatically sharpened by the high-contrast settings of most social-media platforms, and further boosted by the backlit screens of our devices. Cumulatively, these improvements have encouraged unrealistic expectations. “It’s a shame,” Skogli said. “You have a responsibility to show the truth.” He has tried to open a discussion on the subject within the tourism industry, without success. In a rare departure from diplomatic geniality, he dismissed most Instagram photos of the lights as junk—“digitally colorized files to produce likes.”

No, Your Instagram ‘Influence’ Is Not as Good as Cash, Club Owner Says

Excerpt from this article:

We are receiving many messages regarding collaborations with influencers, Instagram influencers. We kindly would like to announce that White Banana is not interested to “collaborate” with self-proclaimed “influencers.” And we would like to suggest to try another way to eat, drink, or sleep for free. Or try to actually work.

Many applauded his attack on the overly entitled “new age beggars,” as one commenter called them.

But others defended the entrepreneurial travelers.

Airbnb customers are booking photoshoots to #vacation like Instagram influencers

Cherry Blossom tourist

Excerpt from this article:

n LA, one 3.5-hour tour (transportation included for $39!) allows you to hit up all the iconic spots: Hollywood Sign “without spending hours hiking”; the Beverly Hills Sign; that classic view of a street lined with palm trees; a pink wall on Melrose Avenue; and a mural of angel wings to stand in front of. At each location, the guides will take your photo, making sure to get your good side, with your own device.

Their Street Is Famous on Instagram, and They Can’t Take It Anymore

People stand on Paris's Rue Cremieux

Excerpt from this article:

It’s easy to see why Paris’s Rue Crémieux is such a hit on Instagram.

Filled with small pastel-painted houses, weathered cobblestones, and blooming window boxes, the car-free street near Bastille has become one of Europe’s most popular spots to strike a pose, with the hashtag #ruecremieux now linking to over 31,000 images.

We don’t need to take his word for it. A local resident has hit back with the Instagram and Twitter accounts Club Crémieux—tagline “shit people do Rue Crémieux”—which reveals a street thronged with dance crews, bachelorette parties, and even, for some reason, Japanese municipal mascot Kumamon. Filled with people attracted to a setting that looks idyllic with the right filter, a resident entering their home becomes an unwonted exercise in photobombing.

How Asian Social Media Transformed a Quiet U.K. Walking Spot

Excerpt from this article:

“When we search for London on social media, it’s the first thing we see,” Hyeon Hui Shin, a 28-year-old tourist from South Korea, said of the East Sussex cliffs, known as the Seven Sisters. “I didn’t know it was so far from London!”

The Seven Sisters — stark, white chalk cliffs facing the English Channel — have long been popular among hikers, a hardy, “walking type,” said Fran Downton, a marketing manager at Tourism South East, the region’s tourist board.

But over the past two years, visitors from China have been increasingly hopping on trains to make day trips here from London. Travelers from South Korea have now started joining them. And they are largely inspired by the cliffs’ appearances in social media, films — especially the “Harry Potter” series — and by recommendations from celebrities.

Sweden to End Twitter Experiment Letting Ordinary People Be Nation’s Voice

Excerpt from this article:

Since 2011, control of the Twitter account @sweden has been handed to a different person each week, allowing the curators to tweet about almost anything they please. At the end of September, after 356 curators and more than 200,000 tweets, the experiment will end.

She said @sweden is being shut down because its creators wanted to broaden their scope. Most of the account’s followers come from Sweden, Britain and the United States.

“The geographical reach is too limited,” she said. “Now we want to find the new thing, that will reach more people.”

Instravel – A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience

Instravel – A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience from Oliver KMIA on Vimeo.

 

From the video description:

I came up with this idea last year while traveling in Roma. I wanted to take a look at the popular Trevi Fountain but I never managed to get close to it. The place was assaulted by hundreds of tourists, some of them formed a huge line to get a spot in front of the Fountain. Needless to say that I was very pissed by this sight and left for the not less crowded Pantheon.

I was shocked by the mass of people walking all around the city, yet I was one of them, not better or worst. Like all these tourists, I burned hundred of gallons of fuel to get there, rushed to visit the city in a few days and stayed in a hotel downtown… I decided to make this kind of sarcastic video but with the focus on travel and mass tourism…

While the era of mass world tourism and global world travel opened up in the 60s and 70s with the development of Jumbo Jets and low cost airlines, there is a new trend that consists of taking pictures everywhere you go to share it on social networks. During my trip, I felt that many people didn’t really enjoy the moment and were hooked to their smartphones. As if the ultimate goal of travel was to brag about it online and run after the likes and followers.