Talking about the Austrian travel trade show “ReiseSalon” 2013 is a pretty business. For the second time this year, it was held in the mighty imperial halls of the Vienna Hofburg – a splendid framework and easily one of the most beautiful venues in the whole country. I was headed there together with my hotel partners of “Genuss Reisen Österreich” and “Kreativ Reisen Österreich“, two marketing associations focusing on food & creative travel in Austria. Besides, what came as a pleasant surprise was that I was going to represent the new travel blogger industry in the country there. “Günter Exel, of TravelLive, said that we should absolutely have you here on stage speaking”, jolly radio moderator Peter Agathakis calls me two weeks ahead of the speaking gig “Travel Bloggers & Travel Journalists” at the ReiseSalon travel trade show. “I will ask you about your background, your travel expertise, but also something more provocative like: ‘Ten years from now, print journalism will be dead. What do you think about that’?” Of course, an introduction like this gets me all ears, and naturally I agree to take part in the discussion. What a promising event the “ReiseSalon” shapes up to be!
“ReiseSalon” 2013: Creative Travel, Gourmet Food Travel – a truly exclusive travel trade show highlighting excellent (inter)national travel industry members
What exaclty is it that makes the travel trade show ReiseSalon, and in particular its location, so special? To me, it is the unique combination of Austrian imperial splendour (the chandeliers, the tall rooms, the riches in decorative details that convey a feeling that the Emperor Franz Josef himself would walk around the corner at any time) with the modern-style travel booths that embrace and enthrall visitors. It was at the same time overly beautiful and yet very comfortable, “cosy” (“gemütlich”) as we Austrians like to say. Especially in the ceremony hall, which was exclusively held for Austrian exhibitors. As project manager for the Austrian travel association “Creative Tourism Austria“, I was involved in the whole coordination of our partner hotels at the “ReiseSalon” travel trade show, as travel blogger “Creativelena” serving a double function and launching myself into the speaking gig.
Radio stations ask, travel journalists answer. And travel bloggers? They tweet, film & photograph in real time. Including immediate aftermath blog publications …
… that are being shared, “liked”, commented again, hereby successfully continuing the panel discussion online. Where professional travel bloggers differ from say, print journalists, is that we have to “be able to do it all. Travel bloggers are journalists are proof-reading editors are graphic designers are photographers are video producers are search engine optimisers are networking & Social Media experts, and a lot more”, is what I mention during my speech introducing the work of travel bloggers. My Austrian colleague Günter Exel of TravelLive confirmed me in this, demonstrating his “TravelLive campaigns” by recording (and sharing) a live video on Vine about the discussion while speaking.
The Internet offers everybody the opportunity for self-publication. All the more, crucial values such as quality, professionalism and reliability are expected and need to be developed – concerning our readers as well as the media we choose to publish. In this context, I would like to quote my colleague & partner Claudius Rajchl, himself a longtime travel journalist & video specialist: “If the same or similar content is published through an established newspaper or magazine or on a blog, the newspaper is still ranked as much more trustworthy than the blog.” I can certainly understand where he is coming from. After all, why does an established newspaper or magazine rank as trustworthy? Because it works hard on its quality (image, design, photo or article editors, etc.). However, it now stands to be argued that more and more successful online (travel) writers are doing exactly that, and much faster and better networked in their own, growing online communities. This, in turn, is what Google likes to see. And continues to rank blogs high up in search engines – thanks to “Google Authorship” & Co.!
Thank you all who took part in making this panel discussion at the ReiseSalon travel trade show in Vienna such a success, @rajchlreist, @insiderei, @guenterexel! I look forward to all of your feedback and hopefully many more stimulating and interesting discussions about quality & professionalism of online travel writers in Austria and abroad.