Jackson Hole Joins Growing List of Places That Just Say NO to Instagram Geotags

By Kehl Bayern / December 10, 2018

Probably nothing more awkward out there than a tourist hotspot that doesn’t want tourists – specifically, Instagrammers doing it for the clicks. Well, that's not entirely accurate – they're happy to get the tourists and even the pictures, but please don't take the town or any specific location in your photo.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a getaway destination for a lot of people who love winter sports as well as amazing natural beauty, but it is also attracting a less desirable crowd that is apparently having a negative impact on this pastoral scene.

Image via Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board.

Because of this, the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board is asking that photographers stop geotagging photos when sharing them on social media.

As DPReview points out, the problem is that these tourists go to the exact location featured in popular photos and overwhelm these spots. These locations usually don’t have the infrastructure to handle tourists, but still attract crowds of people with little regard for preserving the natural beauty that made the spot attractive in the first place. Whether it is tourists in Yellowstone hurting themselves by straying off of the path or a couple falling off the ledge while taking a series of photos in front of a gorge, when crowds show up to places without the facilities to handle them, bad things happen. Heck, bad things happen even when there are barriers, signs, and warnings in place.

But the problem is a multifaceted one that impacts tourism in general as well as the natural environment.

The board designed a marketing campaign to get out the message, complete with posters and a YouTube video. The slant is geared towards preserving the natural beauty of Jackson Hole as well as the habitats of the animals and wildlife.

There’s even a slogan and a new default geotag that social media users can use: “Tag Responsibly, Keep Jackson Hole Wild.” When a user selects this as the geotag for the photo’s location on social media, they are directed to the campaign.

Kudos to the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board for getting on top of the issue but it remains to be seen whether it will be effective at preserving these locations, many of which are already known.

What do you think? Do you think Instagram is the modern scourge of photography or all of this is overblown? Let us know in the comments.

Image via Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board.

Image via Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board.

Image via Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board.


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About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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