SAN FRANCISCO—Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Luxury & Lifestyle Collection, released findings from a global survey on consumer sentiment on social media content of travel brands and traditional travel influencers. Kimpton polled more than 4,000 people from Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States and found an overwhelming need for more authentic and varied travel content as well as a demand for travel brands to show inclusive and diverse content creators and experiences.
“At Kimpton we take pride in being a different type of hotel. Our founding principles have us rooted in human connection and delivering a ‘Stay Human’ experience. We want our guests and our employees to be comfortable and embraced for being their most authentic selves, no matter their pronoun, skin color, or body type,” said Kathleen Reidenbach, Kimpton’s chief commercial officer. “However, we know that social media and marketing content within the travel industry hasn’t always reflected the people and experiences that truly make up our global community. That’s why we are committed to diving deeper into the foundation of our Stay Human brand ethos with new brand commitments that will continue to change the way we work with creators, the imagery we share, and the experiences we offer.”
Overall, the survey found a discrepancy between travel content currently on social media and the true desires of consumers, who reported that the pressure to be “social media-worthy” negatively impacts their travel experiences. Consumer feedback from the survey further indicates a desire for more inclusive social media content from travel brands that is suitable to all travel styles and reflective of all types of individuals.
Kimpton’s global and regional findings from its survey include:
- Eight-five percent of respondents think travel industry brands’ social media content should be more inclusive of all kinds of travelers, and 84 percent of respondents think travel brands could do more to support a diverse set of travel creators—especially those in Australia (86 percent), the United States (88 percent), and Millennials (88 percent).
- Ninety percent of U.S. respondents believe that travel industry brands’ social media content should be more inclusive of all kinds of travelers.
- Seventy-six percent of respondents believe that more realistic depictions of travel from content creators on social media would be more valuable than existing travel content. U.S. respondents are the group most likely to say that the content makes them feel self-conscious (24 percent).
- An equal percentage of Australian and U.S. respondents report that travel industry content on social media makes them feel left out (15 percent each).
- When it comes to demographic factors such as gender, race, disability, age, and body size, more than one-third of survey respondents believe that they are not well-represented or are unsure if they are well-represented in the content they see from travel creators (34 percent).
- Nearly half of survey respondents have some negative feelings (jealousy, self-conscious, etc.) towards the current travel industry content seen on social media (46 percent).
- One-third of respondents (33 percent) feel that their travel style or personal needs are not being met or might not be met by offerings from travel brands, and 21 percent are unsure that travel content from creators on social media is inclusive of different travel styles.
‘Stay Human’ Global Campaign
In response to the traveler pain points uncovered in the survey’s findings, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has introduced new brand content commitments that pledge to show more diverse and inclusive creators and experiences in its brand-level social media and marketing content moving forward, including working with creators that represent the world’s diversity; address gaps in content; create the Kimpton Creator Collective, which includes diverse perspectives to give thoughts on the brand; not limiting contracted creators in what they can share on social media; and making its pool of contracted creators more inclusive.
To help shape commitments and advise on how they can come to life in the guest experience, Kimpton worked with a select group of creators with varying interests from across the globe to form its first-ever ‘Stay Human’ Creator Collective. The creators gathered in London last month at the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel, where they collectively took part in experiences rooted in and inspired by human connection.
In January 2023, Kimpton will roll out bookable Stay Human packages at select hotels around the world catering to diverse travel styles and personalities. The packages will all be informed by insights from Kimpton’s global consumer survey and its ‘Stay Human’ Creator Collective. This campaign serves as a continuation of IHG Hotels & Resorts’ commitment to a diverse culture.