Drones: A Tourism Boom and Bust

drone tourism

When drones first came out, some travelers instantly recognized the possibility of using them to enhance their experience as a tourist. Before any laws or regulations could be formulated some traveled the world and took stunning photos and videos of famous places.

Now it’s harder to do that. In February, a South Korean tourist was held by Indian police for flying over the Taj Mahal. Last summer, a French tourist was caught flying a drone over Rome’s iconic Colosseum and faced a $170,000 fine!  Many other famous locations, like Angkor Wat, now have drone restrictions in place. If you are planning on using a drone on your next vacation, make sure you check local laws and restrictions.

Still, drones offer huge marketing potential for the tourism industry. TripShock the company that operates pensacolabeach.com (a website advertising tourist opportunities in Pensacola, Florida) recently redid their online campaign and included drone videos shot on the beaches of Pensacola. Across the ocean, Tourism Australia just partnered with DJI and aerial photography community SkyPixel to hold a drone photo contest that showcases the natural beauty of Australia. Also, tourism authorities in Australia’s Northern Territories recently launched a new ad campaign aimed at Millennials that uses drone footage. There is even an American tourist who made his own video of his experiences in Australia, shot completely with his drone.

But that is not the end of drone tourism. Recent laws in Canada have heavily restricted the recreational use of drones, so the Klahoose Nation on Cortes Island in British Columbia is inviting drone pilots to come to their island and fly around. The Klahoose Nation’s “Drone Territory” is set to launch this April and they are hoping it will boost tourism to Cortes Island.

Chief James Delorme said about the project, “We have many wildlife, grizzly bears, and fantastic waterfalls. There’s a business opportunity here that doesn’t rely on resource development, doesn’t rely on taking advantage of anything that’s going to compromise our rights and title and our traditions.”

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