Hotels and airlines advertise on Instagram Stories, speaking directly to travelers.

WHAT HAPPENED: More hotels and airlines are using Instagram Stories to advertise, spurring travel bookings that start on the social media platform.

Why it matters

  • Instagram has long been home to bewitching photographs of travel destinations and luxurious hotel rooms. At the same time, interior design is captivating more attention on the platform, which more apparel and accessories brands including H&M and Asos are capitalizing on by selling products in the home goods category. Letting consumers start booking a trip directly on Instagram is a natural extension of these pre-existing trends. Though bookings were previously offered on Facebook and received underwhelming traction, Instagram engagement is much stronger, making Instagram Stories a more promising investment.

  • While the cost of Instagram Stories ads will inevitably rise, using it as a marketing channel comes with a range of benefits. During Facebook’s Q4 2018 earnings call, the company announced that Instagram Stories have 500 million daily users. As long as Instagram Stories prices remain relatively low compared to other social media ad products, companies in the travel industry can take advantage of the channel and use it as a way to self-promote outside of Google, Booking Holdings (owner of sites like and or Expedia—three monopolies on the booking process. Instagram Stories also keeps the brands using it in control of their own voice and visuals, which they otherwise surrender on these large booking sites. For example, a marketer from HotelTonight spoke directly to Instagram users in a recent Story, outlining her favorite places to stay on work trips. Using Instagram Stories also directs additional traffic to the companies’ personal booking apps where consumers are able to finalize their purchases.