Flight Centre won’t be jumping on the trend of hiring social media ‘influencers’ anytime soon because according to the group, its 10,000 staff members are the influencers.

Although it’s a norm for tour operators and tourism boards to recruit people with strong social media followings to promote their products, Flight Centre’s Head of Creative, Content & Digital Marketing, Luke Wheatley, said this type of marketing isn’t relevant for the travel group.

In a Q&A with AdNews.com.au, Wheatley described influencer marketing as uncontrollable and ineffective because “what do we get besides a little tag”.

“Where’s the relevancy? I look at relevancy and yes it’s great if they’ve got five million followers but we don’t need reach, we need relevance and that’s what we focus on.”

Luke Wheatley, Flight Centre Head of Creative, Content & Digital Marketing

Wheatley continued, saying that Flight Centre has found it more effective to give the group’s consultants “authority to talk” by encouraging and supporting them as online influencers.

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“From a content point of view we’ve got to make sure we’re talking in a place where we have authority to talk, so every bit of content that we put out there is being produced by us,” he said.

“When my team travels, we amplify their content as they’re influencers. So, that’s what’s different to us.”

Luke Wheatley, Flight Centre Head of Creative, Content & Digital Marketing

CLICK HERE to read the full interview with Luke Wheatley.