In fact, over the past few years, influencer marketing has gone from a fringe concept to a $5–10 billion industry. From fashion to beauty to food, influencers are changing the way that both small and large companies market their businesses.
And it’s here to stay.
Like every other industry, the food business is competitive. So it comes as no surprise that large food brands are now looking to expand their marketing efforts with influencer campaigns. That includes partnering with travel influencers.
If you’re looking to recruit social media influencers for your brand, here are the top food and travel influencers to watch in 2020 and beyond.
What is a Travel Influencer?
A travel influencer is someone with a significant social media following that posts content related to travel.
But since “travel” is such a broad topic, most of the best influencers focus on a specific niche in the industry, such as sports, lifestyle, or food.
There’s more to influencing than just posting pretty pictures and videos on Instagram.
Many influencers publish product recommendations and product reviews, as well.
Because their audience of followers trust them and believe in what they have to say, they can turn their followers into customers for your brand.
To help you find the right food and travel influencer to partner with, we’ve put together a list of the top 15 rising stars in this niche.
The Top 15 Travel Influencers to Watch:
Melissa, or Mel, has amassed over 385k followers through her unique hand-held photos of different dishes and treats from countries all around the world.
Scrolling through her Instagram account is like browsing postcards with backdrops that range from the Sydney Opera House to the Eiffel Tower to the cherry blossom trees in Kyoto, Japan.
157k followers on Instagram love James Thompson and the food feels he puts out there. Plate after plate, James’ IG posts feature delectable desserts, mouth-watering pasta dishes, and all sorts of goodies from street markets and global cafes.
Over 108k people follow the Nomadic Boys on Instagram. While they proudly promote gay travel destinations, they demonstrate their love for one another as well as their shared love of food.
They’re bloggers, too. Visit NomadicBoys.com, and you’ll find recipes for dishes and food experiences to enjoy across the globe.
As someone who’s both a cook and a photographer, it’s no wonder why Jo Yee’s Instagram page has 107k followers.
Maybe it’s her superior photography skills, but you can almost taste the food through her photos. And every pic is yummier than the next.
Annette White is on a mission to check off everything on her bucket list — one trip and one meal at a time.
She has over 100k IG followers, but there’s more. Her blog is a wonderland of unique foodie posts ranging from visiting the famed French Laundry restaurant to dismembering a chicken.
92.8k Instagram followers know Cari Garcia’s is a food world we absolutely love diving into.
With plates piled high, close-up images of runny eggs, and lots of ooey, gooey, cheese-filled shots, Cari reminds us that sometimes it’s okay to indulge.
Fresh off the Grid
Over 91k Instagram followers have figured out that you don’t have to cook in a fancy kitchen to have an amazing meal.
Magan and Michael are campers at heart, inspiring their audience with impressive, incredibly delicious dishes prepared off the beaten path.
If you’re ready to get lost in Cheeseland, it’s time to join the more than 85k people who follow Lindsey Tramuta on Instagram. A Philadelphia expat living in Paris, her posts aren’t always about cheese. But they do focus on all the delicious treats and delights that Parisian cuisine has to offer.
With over 80k followers on Instagram, former lawyer-turned-food blogger Jodi Ettenberg travels the world and delights us with images of both landscapes and food.
As someone with celiac disease, gluten-free meals aren’t a trend for Jodi — they’re a necessity. On her LegalNomads blog, she shares lots of tips and advice on how to maintain a gluten-free diet when you’re on the road.
More than 55k Instagram followers have figured out that the stuff Ben eats is worth knowing about.
Ben Hon is a real estate agent in New York City. He shows his passion for food through colorful photography, sexy close-ups, and platters that make us want to run out and visit whatever restaurant he’s at.
This Brooklyn chef-turned-photographer displays images of food that are playful, whimsical, and unexpected.
Whether he’s showing us a slice of pizza or a beautiful lobster bake, his Instagram page always makes us want to chow down.
With over 43.1k followers, Phillip Fryman is a favorite of anyone who’s not afraid to take in some extra calories. His IG photos run the gamut from delicate macaroons to buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches, reminding us all that food decadence comes in so many different forms.
More than 23k people on Instagram follow Fiona Lee to get close-up views of meals and items that she orders from various restaurants.
This NYC influencer posts incredible photos of everything from decadent desserts to hearty noodle bowls and pasta dishes. The photos are tantalizing, and her food diary always makes us hungry.
Go Find Alice
It doesn’t even matter if you’ve just eaten a massive meal — one look at Alice’s Instagram, and you’ll realize how she hooked 15.1k followers.
But aside from her wanderlust and food photos, the best thing about Alice just may be her carefree vibes and friendly attitude.
Not only is Amanda a veteran, but she worked as a navy chef, so you can be sure she knows a thing or two about food.
With 11.9k followers on Instagram, she posts impressive photos of her worldwide travels as well as images of plates and dishes she experiences on the road.
Maybe you’re looking to recruit new partners and affiliates.
Perhaps you’re developing your first influencer marketing campaign.
Either way, the above list of travel bloggers and Instagram foodies is a great place to start.
Start by browsing these influencers’ Instagram pages and check out their blogs to find one or two that resonates with your brand. With the right influencer, you just may find yourself a brand new audience of customers!