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32 Comments

  1. aldo says:

    It’s great post!

  2. Nguyen says:

    Thanks for your article. I agree that bloggers affect the travel industry in a positive way. Especially nowadays with social media, people can review the places before they travel thanks to bloggers.

  3. Pensando en la experiencia como blogger en Sudamérica, el impacto es mayor en los individuos más que en la industria, ya que por lo general, los tipos que usan blogs de viaje como referencia, son mochileros (backpackers) que quieren realizar sus viajes con el menor gasto posible. Tal vez, en latinoamerica el único lugar donde los bloggers son una influencia en la industria es Brasil, el resto, su influencia aún está en pañales.

  4. I agree with some advertisers treating their bloggers like ‘whatever’… Like you said, you get out of your way to do it if you feel connected, in my case, since I have not encountered advertisers that took advantage of it I always post the link ahead of time and adjust it when they want changes but NOT underpaying just because its posted ahead and have not replied to the questions of what they prefer.

    A simple reply to emails asking what do they prefer (renewable text link or permanent link) is not hard to do specially if you’re in an online advertising business. All of a sudden will send out a scathing email from top to middle and trying to get away at the bottom part just because they said something like, I apologize that you said this and that but then attacking you with all they can using some polite words, that is something deeper than showbiz ethics.

  5. noelmorata says:

    I also liked the comment about archival, it is almost everlasting free advertising to sponsorships with an individual post that has great SEO to be searched and bring relevant information to that viewer, something worth its own weight in gold!

  6. noelmorata says:

    Well I was wondering how this conference turned out, maybe I’ll get the opportunity to do this next year. You raised some great thoughts especially in regards to photography, because that’s what I do, but I don’t intend to give my images away for free for a free press trip, that’s for sure!

    • @Noel: I hear ya. But here’s an angle to pose to an industry person like you . If you wanted to start building clients say, in the hotel industry and provided the hotelier does work on their end, to help promote your posts to their followers and industry (which I’m not sure happens gauging from my very recent experience and the fact they’ve not promoted my posts or video on their Twitter or Facebook accounts), then it might be a win-win in terms of exposure for both. Maybe? A couple of those and you can broaden your client niche or have references.

  7. Fantastic article, Christine – you raised the following interesting questions:

    Do I sense a shift in advertising methods changing towards social media?
    + Yes, but as a travel professional, I’m not sure if we are properly harnessing the social media outlets or if our multimedia efforts and social marketing campaigns are effective. It’s yet to be seen if all the hard work you bloggers and savvy social media folks are doing is really paying off – not just for you, but for us, too!

    How do I think bloggers can work more effectively with the travel and tourism industry?
    + It’d be great if more travel bloggers reached out to us with concrete proposals on what their needs are, what talents they have and what they can offer. We’re always willing to help out and even have a budget to cover additional costs beyond lodging, transport and tours and are willing to establish a “working” relationship, as long as the blog is transparent about said relationship.

    Thank you for asking those questions and keep up the great work!

    Pura vida,
    Christine Krishnan
    DESAFIO ADVENTURE COMPANY
    Costa Rica

    • @Christine: Woops, I meant to respond earlier because I really appreciated your comment and insight on the travel professional end!

      I love your advice about how bloggers can work more effectively with the travel professionals. That’s good for bloggers to note as for the longest time, I assumed advertisers and interested parties would just magically find me. I’ll highlight your comment so others can read that.

      Is social media being harnessed effectively? I personally think measuring traffic, click ratios, followers, etc.. is a flawed system. It’s started an emphasis on short range performance and value vs. long-range ones and a false idea of effectiveness. I could be wrong; you can correct me.

      Traditional adverts worked to make an impression on folks so that when they walked away, the thought was still there– Buy Coke, Stay at the Hilton Grand Wailea (the latter just randomly popped up like magic, because at some point I saw an ad or image I liked,… which shows the effectiveness of that marketing, mind you)…. Most consumers won’t purchase on-the-spot because travel is not a “product” people shop at random to buy or instantly jump at, like an iPod. People research and need to mull over many variables before making a decision of how to ‘invest’ their money into an “experience”. Destinations might sell quicker than specifics like tours and hotels. I think blogs should be seen as somewhat similar to traditional adverts, you want to create valuable impressions, which incubates in the mind of consumers. When the time comes, they’ll be like- I saw some blog about the Grand Wailea… it had these amazing photos. Let’s book there! They won’t remember the blog, but the pictures. That’s how traditional marketing used to work into people- a catchy jingle, appealing concept. So to me, measuring traffic and performance is not seeing the bigger picture of how consumers work.

      I have a few posts which draw big hits daily, but were written in 2010 or 2011, which means Google’s nested it as a reference page. If anyone had advertised on those pages, they’d getting decent long-term exposure. I also recently wrote an article and did a video for a hotel I stayed at. YouTube audiences and travel blog readers are two difference audiences too . I think travel professionals have a big job ahead of them sussing this all out. 😉 sorry for the long-winded response. I’m actually really fascinated with this topic.

  8. Yes about the point you make about press trips. I worked with Discover Atlanta, and honestly, wasn’t impressed with them. The review I gave about the city and its tourists reflected that – I didn’t rave about it, and I felt like they didn’t care about developing a relationship. Then again, there are lazy bloggers out there who don’t honour commitments, and I think that’s why some PR folk get a bit annoyed and disillusioned about working with bloggers.

    p.s. I would LOVE to have hung out with you and Jeannie in that hotel. It looks swanky!

    • @Tom: I remember that post! That’s a difficult situation if a blogger doesn’t care for the tour or the treatment. You feel the pressure to make a good review, even if you may not be feeling it. That would’ve been so fun for all of us to meet there! Well, next time maybe… when you’re not in South America. 😉

  9. Thank you for this information! I’m trying to soak up as much as I can. A roadmap and union would be so useful!
    I also was newly introduced to rambutan on my recent trip to Thailand. Did you try the mangosteen? That was my favorite!

  10. Pretraveller says:

    Christine, thanks for sharing your thoughts about the travel blogging industry. As a relative newby to the travel blogging industry I am still in the early phases of developing my blog and learning about the industry. I haven’t been to a travel blogging conference yet, but I am keeping my eye out for options which I can afford.

    Your comments on how travel bloggers run their businesses (as versus people like myself who are still at the hobby stage) and earn a reasonable income for the effort, knowledge and skill they bring to the table are good food for thought.

    • @Pretraveller: You’ve got some good really content on your site, Anne. I like your informative pieces. They provide a nice base. It seems the only newbie stage you’re at is developing a larger following …a stage many of us are at (hand raises). The conference gave possible solutions but mostly triggered questions. Would love to attend TBEX and sit in on some of there forums. I’m sure I’d learn a lot!

  11. Chris says:

    Great article – I totally agree on the fact it seems travel bloggers are shooting themselves in the foot by whoring themselves out for press trip.
    It’s a dead end business model where the companies save heaps of dollar and gain more exposure and SEO.
    Bloggers need to attach worth to their skills – not just so they get paid and treated fairly by the industry but so that’s what the industry expects and other bloggers don’t have to fight their corner or loose out to your aptly named “press trip whores”!

    I’m intrigued to see how the travel blogging platform pans out over the next few years…

    • @Chris: Should be interesting. Travel bloggers are getting real good at executing content like professionals- photography, social media, etc. Many of us are “social media experts”, like it or not, because it’s critical to our work and the travel photography I’ve seen, could easily make any magazine cover. But mass actions, sets the standard for our industry value. The fact there’s no standard for advertising prices yet… makes it hard. Young bloggers coming in, don’t know how to begin without making the same mistakes we make. Bloggers are undercutting blogger, everyone’s making up their own system and the industry is individuated, rather than unified. I’d love for there to be a union of sort one day.

  12. apol says:

    i must read more posts like this..not just where-to-go and why-and-how-to-go-there posts 😀 I’m a newbie and there’s still a lot to learn!

    Love this post… and I see Nomadic Samuel and Audrey of That Backpacker in the 1st photo! :))

  13. nicole says:

    Wow! a very insightful article! This is really helpful for people who can’t make it to conventions. I got a lot by just reading this piece. =)

  14. It looks like it had been a lot of fun + a learning experience too! Hope I could attend the next one!

  15. erica says:

    Sounds like a fun conference! I totally do my laundry in the sink no matter the lodings, too (unless, of course there’s a laundry room).

    I completely agree with you- it’s important to know exactly what is expected of you and to lay out your expectations as well. Collaborations between the traditional travel industry and travel bloggers seems to still be relatively new so it’ll be really interesting to see the directions that it takes.

    • @Erica: Yes Erica, it’ll be really interesting to see the direction collaborations take in the future! Glad I’m not alone on the dirty laundry part 😉

  16. Jenna says:

    Very comprehensive, Christine. You really touched on all the major issues.

    Something I think many promoters undervalue is the staying power of a well-designed blog post. There’s a lot of excitement about how many thousands of people will glance at a tweet in real-time (though they might not be interested), rather than focusing on the longer term benefit of a post that ranks well on Google and ultimately entices people (who were interested but undecided) into solidifying their plans. Likewise, a person with only 100 Twitter followers can make an impact with a single tweet when someone searches, comes across their tweet, and then moves to purchase. That kind of instant access to archival material is something that traditional advertising would never have been able to accomplish.

    • @Jenna: I’m so glad you raised that idea of archival material! You’re absolutely right. Traditional advertising wouldn’t have had that ability. I wanted to mention more about the longer term benefits of a post. I’m glad you brought it up, because exactly! Some posts keep getting called in Google searches endlessly. Doing a review on something is not just a one-time-POW thing, but it has a sustaining lifetime in Google. Thanks for your addition.

  17. Iain Mallory says:

    Some great and intelligent points made here. The travel blogging ‘industry’ is a dynamic and rapidly changing one. All interested parties, bloggers, PR agencies and clients need to consider how they will adapt their working practices to work together in mutally beneficial partnerships.

    Great to hear that the conference was a success, another arena where bloggers can connect with the travel industry. It’s always great to hook up with other bloggers and have a few drinks too of course 😉

    • @Ian: I agree what you said about the industry. It is rapidly growing and sometimes it feels a bit like a dynamic mess, due to the fact there’s no standard to give both bloggers and travel industry folk a road map. But i’ve faith it’ll keep changing. 😉

  18. Such a nice article !
    Deep research and toughts about the travel industry and bloggers.
    Nice to meet you at DIA Christine

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