For example, in 2015, the tourism board of the small alpine town of Wanaka, New Zealand, began inviting and hosting “influencers”—social media trendsetters with large followings—to post about their adventures. The result was the fastest tourism growth in the country: a 14 percent increase. According to Lake Wanaka Tourism, influencers provide an “incredible” return on investment. “I guess following photographers on Instagram gives a more genuine expression than looking for inspiration in a tourism brochure,” says Johan Lolos (@lebackpacker), who launched his career as a paid brand and tourism photographer after trading Instagram posts for accommodation and experiences in Lake Wanaka. And that is Instagram’s effectiveness as a marketing tool. People engage with Instagram 10 times more than with Facebook, which is why an estimated 48.8 percent of brands in the United States are on Instagram, with that number predicted to rise to 70.7 percent in 2017. Get the full story at National Geographic