This week’s top news is about Instagram Stories.

Instagram, and its parent company Facebook, have quickly become a digital advertising juggernaut, with the social conglomerate accounting for more than 67% of all social media ad spending worldwide in 2016. And just last year, in an effort to counter the growing popularity of social platform Snapchat, Instagram launched a product feature called “Stories” which has quickly attained more than 150 million daily users.

Travel marketers hoping to take advantage of this growing tool will soon have their chance, as the company has announced it will soon allow advertisers to purchase full-screen ads within the Stories interface. Given the built-in popularity of Instagram among travel brands, along with the sophisticated advertising tools already offered by the Facebook platform, this looks likely to be a big hit with marketers.

Instagram Debuts Full-Screen Ads Product in “Stories”
Instagram is already a big area of focus for many travel marketers, who spend significant time and ad dollars trying to gain traction with the platform’s 600 million users. The company’s rollout of a new ad feature in its popular “Stories” product could help rapidly expand the platform’s advertising efforts and offer a great new tool for travel marketers. Read more

Japan Tourism Doubles Down on Efforts to Reach British Travelers
The Japanese National Tourism Organization is expanding its efforts to target British visitors, rehiring the UK-based marketing agency Digital Visitor to assist with efforts related to social media, among other goals. The UK is Japan’s largest European marketplace, with more than 250,000 travelers from the country heading to Japan each year. Read more

The Growing Impact of Health and Wellness Tourism
The common marketing understanding of travel consumers is that they fall into one of two groups: leisure and business. But what if there were a third segment that marketers were missing? The absent group just might be health and wellness travelers, a potentially massive consumer group that some say accounts for more than $600 billion in travel spending annually. Read more

Expedia Executive Talks About Customer Experience in New Interview
Expedia’s Andrew Cocker, senior marketing director for the EMEA region, shares his thoughts in an always interesting series of executive interviews with those in the travel industry. Among the topics covered are how travel brands should organize marketing teams and the importance of focusing on the customer experience. Read more

7 Technologies for Airports and Airlines in 2017
Emerging technology is becoming an ever-more important piece of how airports and airlines connect with travel consumers. Whether it’s beacon technology or mobile, there’s a range of opportunities out there for the aviation industry to to streamline the guest experience and boost revenue. Here are 7 technology trends for airlines and airports to watch this year. Read more

Photo Credit: Instagram is rolling out ads for its popular "Stories" feature, a tool that now claims more than 150 million monthly users. Instagram