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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

“Blogger Relations” in Austria: Geniesserzimmer, Genusshauptstadt & Gourmet Adventures 2013

6 months, 12 trips, 24 talented writers and a little fair share of happiness. What we have managed to experience and promote through our writing & feelings may well qualify to be of the extraordinary. Take Terry & Sarah Lee from England for example, who have nibbled off the longest apricot cake in the world and whose travel vine video even made it to the San Francisco Chronicles – congrats, dear Sarah! Or Nienke from the Netherlands, whose creative “Geniesserzimmer” presentation from Lower Austria made a real impact on us. Or how about Janett from Germany, who has taken to many a gourmet and creative holiday herself and who always likes (and longs) to come back to Austria?

And the Austrians themselves? Gudrun loves it to bake fresh bread, Andreas to visit fairy-tale like castles & fortresses. Martin has become an artist recently. Together … my colleagues and I have succeeded in convincing a whole number of people that travel bloggers really stand their ground in terms of online travel writing. Look only at what readers have to say: Countless travel intention messages, realtime feedback and queries have been received by Austrian destinations such as Burgenland, Lower Austria, the city of Graz or Salzburg.

Social Media is the key. And slowly but surely changes our perception of the (travel) world. In what way is what I would like to tell you here, summarising this year’s expertise about “blogger relations” here in Austria.

Kreativurlaub in Österreich lässt grüßen: Vergangenen Juni haben wir Janett Schindler von Teilzeitreisender.de, Susi Maier von BlackDotsWhiteSpots.com sowie Johannes Zagermann von JustTravelous.com eine spannende und vor allem kreative Bloggerreise in das Wohlfühlhotel Tannenhof nahe Zell am See unternommen. Unser Fazit: Die Geschichten vor Ort sind es mehr als wert, erzählt und verbreitet zu werden.

Creative holidays in Austria hands-on: Last June, Janett Schindler of Teilzeitreisender.de, Susi Maier of BlackDotsWhiteSpots.com as well as Johannes Zagermann of JustTravelous.com and me took an exciting and quite exceptional blog trip to Wohlfühlhotel Tannenhof near Zell am See. All stories are worth being told – over and over again!

Glückliche Mädchen: Gudrun und ich beim Brotbacken ... naja, im Grunde haben wir mehr posiert & fotografiert, aber der Wille zählt nicht wahr? ;)

Happy girls: Gudrun and I baking bread at the natura.kreativ Altenmarkt creative holidays in Salzburg.

Im "Land für Genießer" haben wir im Juli 2013 rund um das Marillenfest die "Genießerzimmer" der Region mit internationalen Reisebloggern besucht und uns kreativ auf unseren Blogs sowie über Social Media ausgetobt.

In July 2013, we have travelled along the Danube river in Lower Austria and been truly impressed with the region’s culinary variety.

Highlight der diesjährigen Genuss-Veranstaltungen mit Reisebloggern: Unsere Einladung an die "Lange Tafel der Genusshauptstadt Graz" im August 2013, an der wir gemeinsam mit über 700 geladenen, internationalen Gästen Platz nehmen durften … Wow!

Highlight of this year’s gourmet events with travel bloggers: Sitting alongside the “GenussHauptstadt Graz” table for 700 people right in the middle of the city, being treated to high-class meals with a view over the old town … Wow!

 

Mostviertel, Mozart city & a muse for creativity: Travel Bloggers in Lower Austria, brewing beer in the city of Salzburg and discovering artistic talents in the creative destination of Altenmarkt-Zauchensee

“My kitchen is full of tasty memories from Austria”, Monika who is a writer, editor & creative business woman at her digital travel magazine TravelWorldOnline smiles at us when we visit her home. She and her husband Petar have especially fallen for the Mostviertel; I guess I am right in saying that they would love to come back to the gourmet destinations in Austria they have visited this year any time. Regarding the upcoming year, we are already busy making plans and taking into consideration some of the quality criteria for organising successful trips with travel bloggers.

Von links nach rechts: Andreas Susana ("Travelwriticus"), Monika Fuchs (TravelWorldOnline), Stefan Gabritsch (Geschäftsführer von Wienerwald Tourismus GmbH) sowie Petar Fuchs bei der eifrigen und zukunftsweisenden Blogger-Diskussion im Rahmen der Genussmeile im Wienerwald 2013.

From left to right: Andreas Susana (“Travelwriticus”), Monika Fuchs (TravelWorldOnline), Stefan Gabritsch (Managing Director Wienerwald Tourismus GmbH) as well as Petar Fuchs discussing blogger relations during the gourmet event of the “Genussmeile” in Wienerwald in the summer of 2013.

"Familienfoto": Am Ende unseres Besuches posieren wir wie eine "erweiterte Familie" vor dem Distelbergerhof. Herrlich, die unkomplizierte Atmosphäre hier im Mostviertel!

At the beginning of this year’s travel blogger season, we have been welcomed by the Mostviertel full of blossoming pear trees and warm-hearted locals, known for its tasteful and internationally acclaimed fruit ciders.

 

In this context, another noteworthy destination I would like to mention here is the city of Salzburg and especially Birgit Weszelka, whose name I want to highlight here. “New Media Marketing” is really what she is into; our creative trip into the beer brewing capital city Salzburg was a true (international) success. I was really happy for instance to meet Susi Maier (Black Dots White Spots) as well as Johannes Zagermann of JustTravelous. On the second day of this trip, I still remember Johannes saying: “Wow! The sunset picture of Salzburg has reached 200 Likes in one day alone. …” Glad you and your readers liked it that much here, Johannes!

Ganz wichtig: Der Biergenuss. Johannes entspannt beim Rühren!

Important: Enjoying beer. Johannes in Salzburg making his own artesanal beer.

Die Aussicht von der Festung Hohensalzburg, auf die wir im Anschluss steigen, ist nahezu atemberaubend schön ...

Salzburg has really touched our hearts this year: The view from the fortress of Hohensalzburg was just too good to be true … and shared / liked by hundreds of follower from all over immediately.

Meine liebe Freundin, Kollegin & Reisebloggerin Angelika kenne ich erst seit wenigen Tagen, doch die gemeinsame Leidenschaft hat uns zusammengebracht: Hier beim Acrylkurs mit Karin Angerer mitten in Altenmarkt.

My friend and creative travel writer Angelika Mandler, who is busy becoming an artist for the first time in the creative destination of Altenmarkt-Zauchensee in Salzburg.

 

“Genusshauptstadt” Gourmet capital city Graz, “Geniesserzimmer” Lower Austria & “Gans Burgenland” gourmet destination: Travel bloggers become an integral part of digital communication for destinations in Austria.

The best thing is to have everything in written. Who does what, where, to which extent and how is he or she best supported by the strategy of the local tourism destinations or city marketing organisations, so that every stakeholder concerned is able to reach the much sought-after win-win-situation? We have really learned a lot this year, about working together. It might sound simple, but there are some important things to consider that I would like to share with you here using several examples from around Austria.

 

* In the gourmet capital city Graz for instance, we were able to prelude our highlight, the participation in the “Lange Tafel der Genusshauptstadt” with a much suited cooking class as well as a culinary walk through the old town. It was a real experience, and the many emotional articles, photos and Social Media messages shared by Andreas, Janett, Monique, Martin, Monika & Petar are proof to that: Thank you all so much for participating!

Auf der neu eröffneten Dachterrasse des historischen Einkaufszentrums Kastner & Öhler genießen wir einen prächtigen Blick auf den berühmten Grazer Uhrturm und die besonders schöne Dachlandschaft der Grazer Innenstadt.

At the roof terrace of the new shopping centre Kastner & Öhler, we enjoy a magnificent view over the old town of this World Heritage city.

 

* The so-called “Geniesserzimmer” top Lower Austria accommodation association have called for a total of six “gourmet trips” in Mostviertel, Waldviertel, Weinviertel, the Vienna Forest district, the Vienna Alps as well as along the Danube in Lower Austria, highlighting top events for travel bloggers. Our team of German and Austrian bloggers were enhanced by the likes of Anita Brechbühl from Switzerland, Nienke Krook from the Netherlands, Laurel Robbins from the United States as well as Terry & Sarah Lee from England. The results? Countless videos, photos, Social Media reports & travel articles that have been published have truly impressed the organisers with a desire to repeat this innovative strategy next year.

So sehen aufgeregte & glückliche Reiseberichterstatter aus: Vor kurzem noch skeptisch, sind wir spätestens nach einer Stunde auf unseren Segways restlos von der Fahrt durch die Spitzer Weinberge entlang der Donau begeistert!

From left to right, happy travel bloggers in Lower Austria: Nienke Krook (TheTravelTester.com), Janett Schindler (Teilzeitreisender.de) as well as Anita Brechbühl (Travelita.ch) on Segways in the Wachau valley during summer.

Die mittlerweile fast schon berühmten "Tafeln" bestechen durch ein wahrlich einzigartiges Ambiente und sind am besten in Kombination mit einer Nächtigung & Ausflügen innerhalb der Region Weinviertel zu genießen.

The so-called “Tafeln im Weinviertel” are another top gourmet highlight event in Lower Austria, whereby we were invited to take place at a gourmet table set right inside the local vineyards!

 

* “Gans Burgenland” finally is all about the culinary travel delights in the province of Burgenland, organising four different blog trips in the wine districts of the “Blaufränkischland”, the culinary-creative Southern Burgenland, an adventure trip around the annual surfers’ event of the Surfworldcup in Podersdorf as well as the “Gans Burgenland” culinary event highlight during autumn. Our groups of travel bloggers were able to gather exactly the kind of stories they wanted. Looking behind the scenes of brewing beer in an artesanal brewery in Gols, for instance.

Knowing where one of the modernest wine shops of Europe invites you for a tasting. What kind of stories are held by the local people, such as at the Hacienda del Piero in Southern Burgenland, the amber city of Bernstein or the gourmet destination of the “Südburgenländische Weidegans”. The Burgenland plays a leading role in establishing successful blogger relations in Austria, having recognised and furthered this trend already in 2011. I am therefore all the happier to hear that more activities are to be scheduled. Stay curious!

Für das Burgenland verantwortlich zeichnet in Blogger-Hinsicht vor allem die unermüdliche, herzliche Ursula Waba verantwortlich, welche über die Reiseblogger-Kooperationen ihre Liebe zum eigenen Bloggen entdeckt hat! Auf www.toursula.com berichtet sie über das Burgenland sowie die ganze Welt!

Responsible for travel bloggers in Burgenland is charming Ursula Waba, who even owes the launch of her very own travel blog to the successful series of working together with others in the field: On www.toursula.com, she talks about Burgenland and the entire world she travels!

Mit dabei: „Die üblichen Verdächtigen“ ;) Von links nach rechts erfreuen wir uns dieser Tage Gudruns Worten als „Reisebloggerin“, meiner Unterstützung als „Creativelena“, Ursulas cleverem Organisationstalent mit (burgenländischem) Biss sowie Gesas Freude ob ihres allerersten Eintauchens in den Lokalkolorit des Burgenlandes – frei nach dem Motto ihres Blogs „Lilies Diary – Der ganz normale Wahnsinn“ (Heast Oida)!

Travelling the Burgenland in 2013: Gudrun also known as “Reisebloggerin”, me as “Creativelena”, Ursula’s clever organisational talents as “Toursula” and Gesa of “Lilies Diary” from Germany, who first had to get accustomed to the happy accent in this part of Austria … !

Gruß aus der Küche: Die Damen (und Herren) beim traditionellen, selbst zubereiteten Gans Burgenland-Festtagsmenü. Hier möchten wir öfter wiederkommen!

I like taking tasty blog trips like this one, preparing our own traditional goose meal in the kitchen of the “Altes Brauhaus” restaurant in Burgenland.

 

What remains? A lot of (re-)sharing. Sustainable “Seeding” of high quality content about the destinations travelled in the World Wide Web. And a desire of both destinations and travel writers to continue working together.

Each and every blogger is and works differently. We are all individuals and besides being online journalists, we are also our own photo editors, video producers, website editors, marketers & search engine specialists. What is logical to one might not even be obvious to the other – also or especially within the community.

Hence, it is my conclusion here that as part of a cooperation with online travel writers, that each and everybody should be addressed individually knowing what it is each one can (and wants!) to do: What is the added value for travel bloggers besides being invited on a trip? Are there maybe future projects such as video productions, photo research or affiliate marketing opportunities? What is it each blogger needs, especially when being part of an organised group trip? What about the timing and the necessity to stay online and connected? How can each one of us receive support in order to reach their full potential?

Many questions there are … some answers we have found and worked on this year, others remain to be seen. I REALLY! look forward to the future and especially with regards to building it together with YOU!

Yours, Elena 😀

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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