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Sorry, Instagram. YouTubers are new travel influencers

Though many vloggers make only $20 a day, most successful are raking in as much as $7 million a year

Tom Samiljan | Bloomberg 


Last month at VidCon, an annual gathering of almost video creators and fans at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, every major player in social media announced new initiatives to embrace the next generation of viral video makers. showed off a feature that would let followers access a livestream for up to 24 hours. announced a production tool called VR180 that makes it easy for people to create and share 3-D videos in 180 degrees. (All you need is one of the special cameras due later this year from LG, Lenovo, and YI ) And Facebook unveiled updates to its Mentions app, which lets creators apply effects to their live videos and connect more easily with followers. 

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that vlogging is becoming a big business. Though many vloggers make only $20 a day (barely more than $7,000 a year), the most successful are raking in as much as $7 million annually. Travel creators are poised to steal the spotlight on these video platforms,  just as they have on . By and large, their influence is being wielded on . According to a study that was run in part by Google (’s parent company), 64 per cent of people who watch travel videos do so while planning a trip. And a captive audience translates into highly profitable advertising support: Branded videos that integrate a sponsor’s product or destination in some way can go for as much as $187,500 per post, and cover everything from luggage brands to website building tools.  So whether you’re seeking inspiration for your own star turn or simply want to discover the next Anthony Bourdain, here’s where to look. 

Kombi Life: In 2010, former IT specialist Ben Jamin bought a 1993 Volkswagen Kombi bus and embarked on an epic, four-year drive from Chile all the way to Alaska, with the idea of sharing the experience with anyone who could throw him gas money.

Vagabrothers: San Diego-based brothers Marko and Alex Ayling talk squarely to members of their own generation—millennials—as they seek out the trendiest cultural experiences around the globe. They take viewers on neighborhood tours of Santa Monica, into a “sparty,” or spa-bathhouse party, in Budapest, and to the coolest gaucho-style barbecues in Mendoza. 

Beautiful Destinations: This company creates short-form, striking vignettes in full 4K resolution that are like cinematic postcards from the most beautiful destinations on Earth, just as the name would indicate. sonality is as aspirational as his travel schedule.