The second day of the TBU conference in Rotterdam was all about “learning” both for the travel industry and bloggers. Our team was invited to speak about digital trends in tourism and destination best practice. Besides the focus on current trends, the day also focused on educating both bloggers and the travel industry about the changes happening throughout the last years. Bloggers have long been seen as unprofessional and just travelling to places around the world, getting lots of freebies. However, this is not the case – bloggers are now a lot more organised and we certainly think many bloggers can now be considered as “Bloggers 2.0”, the better and multi-skill version (TBU).
Many of the bloggers we spoke to have a tremendous set of skills or are in the process of teaching themselves a variety of skills. This is something, organisations might not be aware of. Today’s bloggers have to be great writers that can inspire travellers and their content can not only inform travellers but also entertain them, maybe in a humorous or sarcastic way. On top of that, many bloggers have very good photographic skills, taking the most stunning images in destinations. During the conference, bloggers received some photo and video workshops to show them what they should watch out for. Videos seem to be the next big thing – a lot of bloggers may shoot videos themselves and then edit and publish them while still being on the road. As every job that requires these high-quality work ethic and variety of skills, blogging has become a full time job for many bloggers, and they are always striving to get better and work on their skills.
During the conference, many speakers also emphasised that the blogging industry is becoming more and more professional and as in any full time job, bloggers approach the tourism industry not just to ask for a freebie that they will probably never get, they will do an entire pitch for a trip or a free stay. This pitch will be based on showing the destination or tourism organisation what the blogger can do for them and is based on the content in the media kit. This media kit will contain information about past trips and companies the blogger has worked with. General stats such as following, reach and maybe even return on investment of the blogger will be listed alongside with testimonials of past clients. This might however depend on the individual blogger. Different case studies and samples in the form of blog posts, images and videos are also included. Bloggers approach this in the same way as anybody else in the tourism industry would approach a business transaction.
The tourism industry is slowly making more and more use of the wide skills of bloggers, realizing the opportunities and benefits of working with bloggers. We are great believers of bloggers and aim to provide a platform between the tourism industry with which we work closely and Travel Bloggers Unite alongside with all the bloggers. In the future, we will give more insights into working bloggers and give valuable insights into the blogging industry.
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