PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Ann Tran travels the world and posts about the places she goes and food she eats.
“When we go around we have amazing food. And on top of it, it looks beautiful on camera then it makes an amazing story,” she said.
Tran, who is on Instagram as @mtlfoodsnob, has 23,000 followers — and more than 10,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel.
As of Friday, Tran is in Pasco County, brought here by the tourism department for a day of scalloping.
“I would have never in my life thought that I could go scalloping, and I love scallops.”
An AdWeek report says the influencer market will be worth $10 billion by next year.
That’s what Pasco’s tourism department is trying to tap into.
They say they are focusing on people with more engaged social media audiences.
“The people who they are going to come here they are going to showcase us. Then their audience is going to interact with them. Get that interest and then start doing research on how they can have that same experience,” said Kolby Kucyk Gayson with Experience Florida’s Sports Coast.
Not only are tourism officials showing off Pasco’s outdoor activities, but also local businesses.
Tran got to eat her fresh-caught scallops at a waterfront restaurant. She says her pictures and videos from this trip will have an impact.
“It’s not instant. It’s not tomorrow everyone is going to start calling. But if you make a build-up, eventually people will be like I saw six people scalloping lately. That seems very fun. I’ll book it for next year,” said Tran.
Pasco’s first-ever study on tourism found an economic impact of almost a million dollars.
They are hopeful all their efforts and new branding as a sports tourism destination will grow that figure even more.