In the past, hotels, resorts, and other travel destinations would expend hours attracting travel writers to their locations. If the writer came to the destination and wrote a story, the company would then still have to wait months for the story to be published in print. Although this method is still followed, it is less frequently used since the introduction of travel bloggers.
The new “norm” that brands are following is seeking out an online influencer who can provide a more personal and immediate story that is insured to be shared across multiple social media platforms. One of the main draws to a blogger rather than a traditional writer is that they already have access to their fans on social media accounts that will follow their trip.
Besides drawing a large audience on social media, brands have chosen to use bloggers rather than traditional journalist because of the content they create. Rather than writing an extensive article about a trip, a blogger will post by-the-minute updates, photos, and other content on social media.
In addition, these bloggers often describe themselves as travelers rather than tourists. This distinction shows us that bloggers’ authenticity is a competitive advantage for them, which proves that there is still some dissent between travel and tourism. Tourism is typically shown as a performance, while a travel blogger can take the reader off the beaten path for a more genuine experience.
In a survey by TBEX, professionals said their top three types of travel were destinations off the beaten path, food and wine tasting, and adventure. However, not all travel blogs are for geared towards leisure travel.
There are blogs devoted to personal and business travel. Business travel blogs provide relevant and meaningful content such as posts about business dinner etiquette, which discusses tips such as arriving early, cutting your food one bite at a time, and eating small portions. There are posts about packing for your business trip, which includes information ranging from how to dress for international travel to packing for temperature extremes. Many travel businesses, such as Delta and Hyatt, have also started their own blogs. Their blogs discuss what is happening in the company, showcase customers’ photos, and even provide travel tips for customers.
A company starting their own blog requires a great time and monetary investment. If the business does not want to create their own blog, it is important to still stay up-to-date on the travel bloggers that have widely spread across the internet. Whether a company is targeting business travelers or vacationers, there are bloggers, not just traditional writers, who can effectively cover the story and spread it across multiple social media platforms.