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.
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.
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!
“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!
* 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.
* “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!
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 😀