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Instagram Versus Reality: Travel Influencers Gloss Over Coronavirus

The outbreak hasn’t stopped idyllic posts of sunsets and suntans

RF Travel Influencer
Photographer: Rawpixel/iStockphoto

In the time of coronavirus, to log in to Twitter or Facebook is to be bombarded with posts about infection rates, hand sanitizer and social distancing. Airlines are dropping flights, countries are tightening borders, and concerts and conferences have been canceled. But there’s one place where it’s possible to escape the outbreak: Instagram.

On Instagram, the Facebook Inc.-owned photo-sharing app, many high-profile users still seem to be on vacation. Travel influencers -- the app’s famous authorities on the most ’grammable sunsets and resorts -- are continuing their posts unabated. “We see it as our role to help support tourism during these tough times,” said Kate Torpy and Olly Neville, the couple behind @KOTravellers. Their most recent dispatches, posted to their 342,000 followers, showcase idyllic weather and suntans in Fiji, the Maldives and Japan. None mentions the virus, or the havoc it’s wreaking on international travel and commerce.