Selling Dreams: The Importance of Visual Storytelling in Adventure Travel
Swimming with sea lions sounds like fun, but when you see a photo that brings the experience to life, it’s tough not to drop everything and book an excursion…A new report from Libris by PhotoShelter and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), Visual Communication Trends and Challenges in Adventure Travel, shows that visuals are vital to the marketing and storytelling strategies of adventure travel organizations. Why? As one respondent put it, “we sell dreams, not products.”
The majority (70%) of the more than 200 adventure travel professionals surveyed said visual assets are core to their marketing and storytelling strategies (when asked to describe how visuals fit into their marketing strategies, not a single person selected the answer, “we do not use visual assets”). Organizations are using photos, videos and graphics in a wide range of outlets, from their websites to their print materials.
While adventure travel organizations rely on visual communication, proper management of visual assets is not a priority. The report reveals that only a fraction of adventure travel organizations have a system to store, organize and distribute their photos and videos, which is having a serious ripple effect.
66% of adventure travel professionals say they struggle to find the right assets. This means tedious searching, slow public relations and social media, and heightened frustration for every team member who needs to use photos and videos. The report explores the barriers to efficiency and success in visual communication, from searchability to centralization.
Cover photo by Gregg Bleakney, courtesy of ATTA.