The 10 most followed travel-related Twitter accounts

I dare say there will be one or two omissions here, but here’s a list of the 10 most followed travel-related Twitter accounts that we’ve been able to find.   If you identify others that should have made it into the list, please let us know by posting a comment.  The numbers of followers indicated are correct at the time of publishing.

#1 JetBlue Airways @JetBlue (582,342 followers)
#2 Gary Arndt @EverywhereTrip (63,396)
#3 Kathika Travel Blog @kathika (46,960)
#4 Southwest Airlines @SouthwestAir (30,187)
#5 BrilliantTrips Blog @BrilliantTips (18,744)
#6 Virgin America @VirginAmerica (17.712)
#7 Luxury Travel @luxury__travel (16,651) – that’s us! (click to  follow)
#8 Sylvia – Travel Deals @getatraveldeal (14,812)
#9 Travel, Food, Culture @WeBlogtheWorld (13,650)
#10 LA Times Travel @LATimestravel (10,383)

Note: I have omitted @trazzler from the above list.   They have a following of almost 500,000 but the vast majority of followers do not have avatars and are new accounts which has me thinking that something fishy and automated is going on.

Comments (30)

  1. John says:

    Follower numbers are irrelevant as Paul points out with @trazzler. All you have to do to get followers is to follow lots of Tweeple.
    However, looking at MrTweet reveals some interesting figures. Looking at steam @replies and links:

    @JetBlue 74% @replies and 92% links
    @EverywhereTrip 84% @replies 6% links
    @kathika 6% @replies 97% links
    @SouthwestAir 69% @replies 48% links
    @BrilliantTips 38% @replies 74% links
    @luxury__travel 15% @replies 92% links
    @getatraveldeal 74% @replies 37% links
    @LATimestravel 26% @replies 87% links
    @WeBlogtheWorld 5% @replies 81% links

    The MrTweet figures show that @kathika is more interested in plugging their links than communicating, whereas @EverywhereTrip is more interested in communicating with Tweeple and hardly interested in plugging his links.However I would guess that the links he posts get clicked a lot more than a feed of pure link advertising.
    When the Twitter follow bubble bursts the meek shall inherit the Twittersphere. It is people like Gary that will still be popular.

  2. Interesting to see that from the list, only two “companies” are listed and both airlines. You would think other travel companies with large followings would be more present. It goes to show that twitter is not understand as a marketing tool by large companies as of yet.

  3. KelleyVick says:

    Great insights, John! Adventure Girl has almost 500,000 followers. I’d love to know how she got that huge number. Any reason why she’s not on the list above?

  4. Paul Johnson says:

    Hi Kelley… @AdventureGirl isn’t in the list because I wasn’t aware of it. However, it wouldn’t have made it for the same reason that @trazzler didn’t. There’s some trickery going on there IMHO.

    John… correct me if I’m wrong but you imply that Twitter feeds that 1) don’t post links, and 2) have a lot of @ replies, are better. Whilst I can see where you’re coming from, I’m not sure I agree.

    To take point 1)…

    There’s a limit to what you can get across in 140 characters. I think it’s quite normal to have a short line followed by a link if you want to convey more information. Nobody is forcing people to follow links or indeed to start or continue following if they don’t like what is being tweeted.

    To address point 2)…

    Each to their own, but I personally prefer following a feed with a low percentage of @ replies rather than a high percentage. I don’t mind seeing a handful here and there, but I personally don’t want to follow a whole stack of tweets which consist of replies to tweets that I haven’t made.

    It’s each to their own, I guess, but I don’t think you can simply state that lots of @ replies and few links is necessarily a recipe for the Twitter ideal.

    Paul

  5. Roger says:

    I’m almost positive that @AdventureGirl is/was on the “recommended” list that Twitter started a few months ago. Since that started, when you sign up for a new account they give you 10 or so recommended people to follow (mostly celebrities) so your screen isn’t blank right away.

    It’s a rotating list of like 50 people, and I think 10 random ones come up each time, and you actually have to click to opt out to NOT be following those 10. So @AdventureGirl has hundreds of thousands of followers of new users, in addition to whatever organic ones she might have.

  6. John says:

    Paul, You are quite correct in saying that everyone gets something different from Twitter. It is interesting though to see how it is used by the Top 10 travel Tweeters though.
    I’ve just noticed that @VirginAmerica isn’t on the list.
    Their Stream is 77% @replies and 30% Links

    To take point 1. Sure links need to be added in cases where the information cannot be conveyed in 140 characters. This does not mean that every Tweet needs a link to explain it. If it does then Twitter is not the medium to discuss the issue. A blog with comments is better such as this.

    As for Point 2. I was merely pointing out that Tweetists that interact most with their followers are likely to retain their followers. If you don’t like their Twitter Stream then I guess you won’t follow in the first place. @replies can actually be very informative. It really depends on whether they are responses to “Don’t you just hate being stuck in traffic jams?” or something deeper.

    I was only pointing to the two extremes and not proposing an ideal ratio of @replies to links. If pinned down I would opt for 50 – 75% @replies and up to 25% for links. However it is obvious from the analysis that some of the Airlines are responding to queries in part by posting a link, which would increase the links percentage.

    Kelley,
    @AdventureGirl is a famous TV Personality in the USA. Also being an ex model helps when getting followers.

    @everybody,
    What Twitter stream make do you find rewarding?

  7. John says:

    PS,
    JetBlue’s linking rate is 48% not 92%. Apologies.

  8. Paul Johnson says:

    Bah… I did reply at length to this, but accidentally hit a wrong key and my browser went crazy and I lost what I wrote. To sum up quickly…

    Aha, Roger… thank you for this. I wasn’t aware and it would perhaps explain the @trazzler account if that is in the list also. It does seem a rather strange strategy on Twitter’s part.

    “I was merely pointing out that Tweetists that interact most with their followers are likely to retain their followers.”

    To a point, I’d agree with you on that point, John. However, I think there is the danger that if you interact too much with a handful of followers, that you might be at risk of discouraging others from continuing to follow.

    I don’t think I could put an ideal per centage on either @ replies or links. I think it depends more on the nature of the account and the material being posted.

    Paul

  9. Ana Trejo says:

    The other sites seem more commercialized. Luxury Travel sums up what I want to see.

  10. Hola from Spain! @thetripchicks tweet sent me here as she was curious as to why we were not on the list. Perhaps you just did know about us as I did not know about you yet. ;)

    We are an American family that is on an open ended world tour since 2006 (29 countries,4 continents,over 76,000 miles & 2.5 million Youtube views so far). National Geographic Traveler called us “one of the best family travel blogs in cyberspace” & we are a featured case study in the new edition of The Four Hour Work Week.

    We have been active on Twitter for almost a year and a half and the travel community has really grown in that time, especially in the last 6 months. I know most of the people in the travel community and have been on the T-list since it’s start on Twitter.

    We won two Lonely Planet Travel Awards this year ( based on votes and judges) and one of them was for Best Microblog for our Soultravelers3 Twitter account. We also were one of the 4 finalist in the Shorty Awards ( for Twitter accts)for Travel and are on MOST best Twitter recommendation lists including @wendyperrin ( Conde Nast Travel), Vagabondish and @elliottdotorg’s.

    At the moment we are number one in the Twitter Elite for Spain by Twittergrader ( where I have long had a 100% rating) and number 10 on We Follow for Travel.

    I take great pride in having high ratings in all the various rating systems on Twitter and think those are more important than how many followers one has. We are interested in communicating, connecting and collaborating with others & love Twitter which has enhanced our world tour in many ways.

    We have 21,655 followers at the moment on Twitter, so that would put us as number five on your list.

    We are very flattered that we tend to get an extremely high amount of followfriday recommendations every week and most of our followers are interested in travel and our unique story. We have a very high retweet rate which tends to be an important way to see if one is giving value.

    I tend to tweet a lot of links, but most of them are other’s links that I think my readers would enjoy and get value from. It takes a lot of work to be good at giving great links that people love to retweet and find valuable. So I tend to do that more & even tweet more when we are in Spain for the winter immersing deeply and have less time ( so tweet less) when we are in our 7 months of travel phase.

    I also use my own, twitpics, blipfm etc to entertain or inform as many follow us on Twitter to travel with us vicariously. Just the other day a twitter friend was complaining of a rainy day, so I sent her a link to our uplifting video from our month in Santorini & she and many others twittered back that I made their day. So good links can be the heart of a conversation often times where “show me” has more value than “tell me”!

    I do converse a lot on Twitter, but much of it is also done through the back channel of DM’s which I use a lot. I try to follow everyone back so that we can have these one to one conversations.That is how many with large followings keep up with conversations without having their stream full of @replies. ;)

    I wrote a post on Twitter and Travel2.0 that you or your readers might be interested in. I was inspired when the UK Guardian did a Twitrip that I was involved in because it showed how powerful the travel community on Twitter is.

    I hope you can add us to your list!

  11. Ha! I just realized that it was Paul Johnson who wrote this and we have long been friends on facebook ( and share 40 friends in common)!

    The tweet that sent me here mentioned @Boutique_travel so that is who I did not know ( as they appear fairly new).I have retweeted good links from @luxurytravel and we have been following each other.

    All the more reason that it is funny you missed us, Paul, but these things happen.;) We do live large on little, but we often do luxury travel and have stayed at some of the best boutique hotels in the world which we write and tweet about.

  12. Andy Hayes says:

    I’m pleased to see others realise that there is no real value in the size of ‘followship’ (is that a word? it is now!)

    I get so tired of the hype and internet marketing scum who purport slimy ways to increase followers. How about trying to put out some engaging content and conversation!

    Thanks for the interesting information, Paul.

  13. Kendal H says:

    I really enjoy following Jet Blue’s twitter. I have never flown Jet Blue, but I here great things. They are alot like Westjet in Canada, which I love. (hopefully they get a points system soon). From their twitter account, their CS seems top notch!

  14. Paul Johnson says:

    Apologies for the omission… I did of course know about you so I’m not sure how that happened. I’ll do a revised list in a few weeks and make sure you’re included.

    Paul

  15. Get A Trip says:

    Okay, so this post sure was an eye opener. We had no idea Twitter as a tool was being used as a marketing tool to this capacity. Then again we are slow with a lot of this technology including blogging. We will begin to follow with a passion the top three travel twitters you have listed here. Thanks for the info.

  16. John says:

    Paul, Looking up WeFollow you are not in the Top 10. I know you like publicising how well your sites, blogs and Twitter accounts are doing, but sometimes it is best to let others tell you how good they are and not to blow your own trumpet. The same applies to Jeanne of Soultravelers3.
    Personally, I have nothing but praise for the Aardvark Travel Forum and the Soultravelers3 Blog and Twitter Stream. The Luxury Travel Blog is also a very well designed and written blog. Many other people and organisations have also commended you both, quite deservedly.

  17. Great achievement, Paul. Nothing wrong with blowing your own nose (eh trumpet), although I understand that is more culturally correct at the other side of the pond:-)

    Maybe an idea to put your face in the upper right corner so that your facebook fans are able to connect?

    In addition coming back to your restyling question some time ago: Look at the Thesis theme. You’ll have to pay for it, but it is truly amazing what you can get from it and so easy to change style from 2 to 3 columns and so on.

    Finally: when doe we get a Twitter list for luxury bloggers?

  18. Garri says:

    Had you looked here: http://wefollow.com/tag/travel

    You would see that after Jet Blue, Adventure Girl has a whopping half a million followers! But, she didn’t make your Top 10, Paul!

    @KelleyVick: I can’t say why Adventure Girl has so many followers but what is evident, unlike the majority in this post’s ‘Top 10’, is she didn’t acquire them by mass following people ;-)

    Most of the names on this list have a follower count closely correlated to the amount of people they’re following. Not that there’s anything wrong with that other than it’s not interesting.

  19. Paul Johnson says:

    As I said, Garri, I didn’t anticipate spotting them all. The reason why Adventure Girl has so many followers is discussed above.

    Thanks for dropping by… I hope to provide an updated list in the near future.

    Paul

  20. Paul Johnson says:

    A similar luxury-based Twitter list? I hadn’t thought of that, Guido… thanks, will work on something some time.

    Re: blog design. You may recall that I asked about that a while back – https://www.aluxurytravelblog.com/2008/04/03/time-for-a-re-design/ (and you kindly commented then). I got such a mixture of responses that I was left feeling that I’m better off adding more content than tinkering with how it looks.

    I’m very conscious that it’s not the most slick-looking website but, constraints on time and lack of decisiveness on my part, have meant that I’ve just kept with this look for now.

    Paul

  21. Paul Johnson says:

    Oh, and as for putting my face as my Twitter avatar… I don’t want to scare off all those followers now, do I? ;-)

  22. Blogontravel says:

    Damn..! And I thought 2000 was a lot!

  23. Blogontravel says:

    Off topic question: Why do you add a no-follow tag on your blogroll sites?!

  24. Adam says:

    Great, thanks for sharing this list Paul..I had only added two of the ten, but just added the other ten.

  25. Paul Johnson says:

    To Blogontravel… because some of those links are to sites run by my online travel company, The Dedicated Partnership Ltd. Google doesn’t like webmasters interlinking between their sites when they have multiple sites as it regards it as an unfair advantage. So, to keep Google happy in that regard, we make all the links nofollow. This doesn’t apply to the links within posts (unless of course they are to our own links but that rarely ever happens).

    Paul

  26. I was pointed to Thesis by two fellow travel bloggers and plunged head over into it. It helped with my own indecisiveness because changing the look and feel can be done with one mouse click rather than hacking around in the files…

  27. Samsoni says:

    This is best travel information blog for luxury holiday.

    Tourists can get reliable and useful travel information from USA, America, Europe, Africa and more.

  28. cochhire says:

    Hi

    Thanks for sharing this list. I tend to tweet a lot of links, but most of them are other’s links that I think my readers would enjoy and get value from. It takes a lot of work to be good at giving great links that people love to retweet and find valuable. So I tend to do that more & even tweet more when we are in Spain for the winter immersing deeply and have less time ( so tweet less) when we are in our 7 months of travel phase.

    Thanks

  29. limohire says:

    Hi

    Nice Post. Great, thanks for sharing this list Paul. Tourists can get reliable and useful travel information from USA, America, Europe, Africa and more.

    Thanks

  30. […] 2 years ago now, I blogged about the most followed travel-related accounts on Twitter (here and here).   Since then, Twitter has seen enormous growth of course so I thought it was about time […]

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