Top 50 online travel social media influencers list gets updated daily

Brilliant Travel Media had a brilliant idea — tap into a list of the top 50 travel influencers in social media as a way to gain audience for the online travel marketing company.

So Brilliant Travel Media contracted with DataArt to integrate the just-launched Brilliant Travel Media Influencers in Travel website with the Klout API.


Klout, of course, is the social media metrics company, which ranks individuals’ social media clout.

The result is Influencers in Travel and its updated rankings of the Top 50 Online Traveler Influencers ranging from the current leader earthXplorer [Klout score 81.21] to #25 LocoGringoCom [57.86] and #50 GotPassport [51].

If you put credence in how Klout measures social media influence, then the fab 50 are among the heavy hitters on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn etc. in travel and are people to know if your travel company wants to drive bookings, promote some stuff or perhaps sway the thinking of thought-leaders.

Brilliant Travel Media says it will update the list every day, so there are plenty of reasons for travel marketers to visit the website often.

Along the way, visitors can sample Brilliant Travel Media’s blog posts about effective travel marketing campaigns and new destination management organization launches.

There also will be plenty of website visits from travel social media buffs who thought they had Klout, or clout, that is, but find themselves missing from the list.

Top 50 wannabees eventually also may miss out on travel perks as some hotel chains are taking into account social media influence when doling out travel perks.

Rich Whitaker, president of Brilliant Travel Media, which also publishes the Brilliant Tips travel blog,  says the travel influencer ranking is just one of several social media-oriented lists Influencers in Travel will publish from Klout data.

Influencers in Travel also has published the 25 Most Influential Airlines Online, and Whitaker says he’s also working on a social media ranking of tour operators.

In addition to helping Brilliant Travel Media in its own online travel marketing business, the idea of Influencers in Travel is to help people and companies make decisions about advertising and promotional activities, Whitaker says.

On the other hand, a World Travel Market report casts doubt on the merits of social media.

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Dennis Schaal

About the Writer :: Dennis Schaal

Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.



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  1. The Influencers in Travel Site - A Look Back From the Inside Out

    […] to traffic sources, there were a lot of the usual suspects. However, I was surprised to see that a single post on Tnooz covering the launch of the site resulted in a total of 863 visits, making it seventh overall on the […]

  2. Mark Hodson

    Strange that the links to the top 50 now all redirect to

    • Rich

      Hi Mark, why?

      On August 25th, I sent out a tweet stating that the site had been hacked.

      The following weekend after coming to the conclusion that the site would basically need to be completely rebuilt, I decided to close it down. This decision was even easier for me as the site had no sponsorship and I was extremely busy working on a new project (

      The morning of September 12, the same day my new project launched, I set up redirects from the existing URLs to and sent out another tweet stating that it was time to say goodbye and to please visit

      Two days later, I exchanged tweets with a fellow tweep stating that the yes, the site was dead and that we’re in the process of creating something better for

      On September 16th, published an article about Klout that referred to the fact that the lists had been closed down for a few weeks.

  3. Timothy O'Neil-Dunne

    Maybe its just me but this isn’t just scary – its creepy. It seems as soon as people figure out how the system works it gets gamed and its value disappears.

    The issue of how forced “Like” as a concept is debases the true meaning of the word.

    This is going to be just plain weird. I wonder how one measures the effectiveness of this approach. There doesn’t seem to be a measure of the qualitative results and then how does that translate into how effective these influencers are on actually leading/modifying behavior.

    Or are we just lemmings anyway….

  4. Rich

    @Scott Mc – I have some info for you and feel it’s best to take this offline. Please “contact us” through the site and I’ll be in touch first thing in the morning as I’m about to board a flight.

  5. Dennis Schaal

    Dennis Schaal

    Sam: Yes, that’s interesting that Huffington Post just integrated the Klout scores of commenters. Should encourage comments for people wanting to market themselves more. Oy.

  6. Rich

    @Stuart this list is refreshed daily. Per Klout you refreshed your score on 11NOV and as a result you are indeed included in today’s list.

    @Scott Mc – Checking with Klout.

  7. Stuart

    As per Scott Mc. My klout is 60 odd, which by their listing puts me at the same level as Virgin America (flattering for me, but off the mark I’d have thought) but as I’m not on the list at all it doesn’t really matter. Klout, and this list, need quite a bit of work.

  8. Sam O'Neill

    Very interesting. I just noticed that the Huffington Post has integrated Klout into their articles to find top influencers.

  9. Jonathan Alford

    It seems Klout may be just trying to create a tangible score that consumers and companies can latch onto and build brand recognition in a very crowded space.

    I worked on this space recently, and there are at least 150 companies doing the same thing – all trying to gain traction with corporate customers – and there’s not much substance behind many of them. Corporate customers have a very difficult time sorting through them.

    If Klout at least creates recognition – even if they’re missing many of the 150 – 200 million “sources” others claim – blogs, message board posts, youtube comments, they could potentially backfill those pretty easily while many other startups fail. It’s an interesting space to watch.

  10. Dennis Schaal

    Dennis Schaal

    Scott: Brilliant Travel Media doesn’t define the travel influencers. Brilliant used an API, which hooked up to Klout to get the rankings. Klout says it uses 25 metrics from the social graph, broken down into True Reach, Amplification Score and Network Score. You can find more info about it on the Klout website.

  11. Scott Mc

    I don’t normally shamelessly self-promote, but I’m wondering how Brilliant Media define the travel influencers.

    Our own Twitter page – we’re focused on tours and activities, and tackle stories and issues of general travel interest as well – has a Klout score of 58.

    I wonder why didn’t make the list?

    Oh well, we’ll continue to influence the world of travel in our own quiet way.

  12. Steve

    Pointless. Many of these are one-way broadcasters, have thousands of followers thanks to their brand name and actual influence is in reality fairly low.

    Influence shouldn’t just be based on stats. Ask yourself; would the Twitterverse miss this account if it closed? In the case of a lot of these the answer is most likely no…

  13. Stuart

    Agree with Stephen. An algorithm and an API will only get you so far. Gary Arndt picked up on some of the things that are wrong with Klout here:

  14. Jonathan Alford

    You’re right, Stephen, focusing solely on Twitter misses a lot of the boat, but these social media monitoring and intelligence tools are actually pretty interesting. They’re a dime a dozen now (Radian6, Nielsen BuzzMetrics and Visible Technologies get a lot of PR, and even Microsoft’s LookingGlass has potential). Klout seems to have picked travel as a vertical to showcase – and there’s another hotel-focused one I forget. Definitely going to be a shakeout in this space.

    The technology, espec precision in identifying influencers, sentiment analysis, engagement with consumers, and real analytics are still a major work in progress, but the potential in driving word-of-mouth and marketing/promotional initiatives is pretty compelling. Joe Buhler was looking at them, too.

  15. Tweets that mention Top 50 online travel social media influencers list gets updated daily | Tnooz --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Troy Janisch, Frantz Cator, Pedro Montalvo Sr, Susan Fallon, Tnooz and others. Tnooz said: LATEST: Top 50 online travel social media influencers list gets updated daily […]

  16. Stephen Joyce

    Stephen Joyce

    Really?! Twitter klout?! Why not just rank them based on how many places they check-in on Foursquare.

    • Veronica Stoddart

      Totally agree with Stephen. Not to mention, I question how Klout calculates its scores to begin with. There are folks on the list of travel influencers who have a small number of Twitter followers and are virtual unknowns in the travel landscape. While hugely influential, nationally known travel leaders — who by the way have a large following and high engagement factor on Twitter — are missing from the list. Makes no sense by any measure.

  17. Jeremy Head

    OK. So I think I am write in saying that all their metrics are based on Twitter and nothing else?
    Am I correct? (They mention FB too but I can’t see how they can really measure this given that so many profiles are locked down with privacy settings?)
    If so I don’t think you can call these people ‘social media’ influencers. Twitter influencers or similar, but to suggest that social media is just about twitter metrics seems completely wrong to me.

    • Jonathan Alford

      also right, Jeremy. FB only allows these companies to access public fan pages via its API. Unless it’s changed in the last 2 months, nobody can access private facebook messaging or wall comments.

      So for ex, if Four Seasons wants to track what people are saying about it on FB, it will pretty much only get comments posted on its own fan page. Fine for engagement with fans, but not so good for understanding sentiment.

      • Jonathan Alford

        well I’ll reply to myself and say I was wrong about FB’s new privacy and graph API. As recently as a few months ago when I was focused on it, none of these social media monitoring cos could access personal comments, etc, and only access fan pages. Now it’s scary! I just took a fresh look at my privacy settings for applications…


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