Documenting Travel Experiences in Brazil

Trends / Wellness
Pollyana Ventura
Federico Roales
Nov 30, 2023
In an era where travel imagery has long been dominated by idyllic landscapes and picturesque destinations, a significant cultural shift is taking place. Today, 2 out of 5 Brazilian travelers are inspired by social media to plan their trips1. This growing influence of Instagram and TikTok in travel is aligned with consumer visual preferences. According to our VisualGPS consumer survey, two thirds of Brazilians prefer travel visuals that look realistic and resemble the pictures they would take themselves, rather than being overly aspirational. This unveils a new perspective—one that places the spotlight on documenting the traveler's point of view, offering a more intimate and relatable glimpse into the world of exploration.

Although Brazilian travel brands are aware of this shift, there remains a lag in consistently depicting it in visuals: As of 2023, only 18% of the most popular travel visuals depict travelers engaging in touristy experiences. In light of the evolving landscape of travel preferences in Brazil, the surge in accessibility and the growing desire for immersive local experiences are essential clues to understanding the future of the industry.
Travel is now more accessible and experiential than ever before
The pandemic has redefined the way Brazilians travel. Not only has there been a democratization of the social composition of travelers, with 4 out of 5 new travelers belonging to middle‑low and low‑income sectors2, but there has also been a notable shift in what Brazilians expect from travel. It is now seen as an invaluable opportunity to show and tell the extent to which travelers can immerse themselves in the destination's culture, using contemporary visual codes. This is why travelers are increasingly inclined to engage with more authentic visuals—those that feel shareable and easier to identify with. In fact, our consumer survey indicates that twice as many Brazilian consumers prefer destination images that feature locals (50%) compared to those showcasing tourists and vacationers (24%). Additionally, 7 out of 10 consumers prefer destination images that convey a casual and affordable vibe over those emphasizing luxury and glamour.
Pursuing a broader immersion in local life
Brazil’s rich cultural wealth introduces stunning natural landscapes and the warmth of its people blended with various regional textures. However, the less conventional and simpler travel experiences outlined above, which Brazilians are seeking, are far from being reflected in visuals popular amongst travel brands: Less than 1% show tourists having a meal, shopping in markets, or interacting with small businesses. Other aspects of the consumer journey, such as travelers packing, checking in at hotels, or engaging in entertainment plans are also absent in imagery, and may represent an important opportunity for travel brands to reconnect with everyday travel experiences that resonate with consumers. To meet this demand for budget‑friendly and informal travel, it's crucial to depict it as less 'paradisiacal' and bridge the gap with the contemporary traveler's perspective. Capture a variety of angles and aspects of the travel journey from a genuine and creative perspective in order to create a cohesive narrative that prioritizes experiences over mere pictures of places.
[1] "2 em cada 5 viajantes brasileiros se inspiraram nas mídias sociais para planejar as férias" (Booking, 2023)
[2] "Viagens mais curtas e geração Z impulsionam turismo brasileiro no pós‑pandemia" (CNN Brasil, 2023)
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