Lucia Täubler | DieKremserin. Gudrun Krinzinger | “Reisebloggerin“. Franz Roitner | “Kurzurlaub“. Andreas Susana | “Travelwriticus“. Angelika Mandler | WiederUnterwegs! Maria Kapeller | KofferPacken! Gisela Müller | “OriginalLinzerSchnitte“. As well as my humble self … Creativelena. Seven Austrian Travel Writers & one local Linz host: Such is our gathering on the occasion of the second Austrian Travel Blogger Meet-up in the city of Linz at the end of August 2014.
Quite a few things happened since we last got together in the city of Salzburg for our first meet-up back in December 2012. New travel writers, colleagues & friends such as CitySeaCountry, Escape Town or WiederUnterwegs have joined the show; the platform of Austrian travel bloggers www.reiseblogger.at having grown to include about two dozens of us now. As colourful and diverse as each one of us is, as multifold is the feedback upon this year’s gathering. Discussions evolve from “blogs being creative hobbies” to “professional media businesses”, reflecting our current status quo in developing mutually beneficial relations with the national media & tourism industry.
Austrian Travel Bloggers, quo vadis? First of all: #VisitLinz!
Well, first of all really a word of thanks to dear Gudrun & Gisela for organising and making the magic of us meeting happen here in the city of Linz! The creative gathering of Austrian travel bloggers over fine dining & cultural highlights (as is custom in this beautiful country of ours 😉 ) makes for many an opportunity to discuss the business of blogging, our different business models as online travel writers as well as the improved networking opportunities we have amongst each other. Besides, of course, learning more about the third-largest city of Austria, with Linz being a cultural capital in its own right.
(It is my turn now, to admit that I haven’t even been to Linz but a few times before … thank God, our local hosts & city guides Irmi Sperner, Fritz Rath, Gisela Müller immediately help making us feel welcome here!).
Or would you have known that Linz offers to bake your very own Linzertorte cake, listening to local baker Fritz Rath and his travel fairy tales? That the word “Höhenrausch” does actually translate into something like “altitude delight” in an otherwise rather flat Linz? And that the “Fischerhäusl” fisher’s hut by the river Danube serves yummy, seasonal food?
The latest from Linz: Austrian Travel Bloggers learning how to bake their own individual Linzertorte cakes in the k & k Hofbäckerei of Fritz Rath!
Looking at the programme for our second Austrian Travel Blogger Meet-up, I immediately notice one thing: “Bake Your Own Linzer Torte” at the k & k Hofbäckerei of Fritz Rath. Right up my alley talking about creative travel here on my travel blog. : D That the meeting with our humorous, open-minded, well-traveled and gentleman-like Fritz Ratz would then turn out so well was something even I could not have imagined in my euphoria. A day later even, as we run into him hand-delivering our fresh cakes to the Schillerpark hotel, we still talk as if we had known each other much longer: It is travel tales, languages, our love for the people, respect, creativity & entrepreneurship we share. Dear Fritz, thanks for a truly amazing welcome at your beautiful bakery in Linz!
Austrian Travel Bloggers also represent: Network. Quality. Exchange. Respect. Commonality. Innovation. Cause one thing is clear: The media & tourism industries are changing. Continuously. With, thanks to & because of us!
And yet many times, even or especially in this country Austria, a lot of fear and ignorance still prevail when dealing with professional travel bloggers. “Who / what are travel bloggers … ?! What if they wrote something negative … And anyway, what is the value / meaning / purpose of it all?” Talking to my colleagues, I gather a lot is still challenging in the way we work as professional (travel) bloggers within the wider economy (see also our recent report on the blogosphere here in Austria).
I must say though, that thanks to the great work of my colleagues as well as numerous successful partners & projects over the last few years, I do see everything in a brighter light. Committed and undeterred, we have already hosted and organised several successful new media campaigns with travel bloggers in Styria, enjoyed individual research opportunities in Kleinwalsertal and have formed an integral part of the international (social) media coverage of such prominent destinations as Burgenland, Lower Austria or the cities of Salzburg and Graz. Especially hotels and tourism destinations at local or regional levels provide more and more examples of successful collaborations, such as the Hotel Erzherzog Johann in the Styrian Salzkammergut or the newly formed Creative Destination in the Mostviertel district in Lower Austria.
Much remains to be done, but as usual, I look at the future in an optimistic way. The most important criteria for successful “blogger relations” still are authenticity, quality, professionalism, reliability, openness, respect and the courage to try and test new things. Especially when it comes to “marrying traditional & new media”, there are still so many opportunities I believe. For both partners in a cooperation, whether it is the tourism industry, new media companies or bloggers themselves. I am curious, as well as pleased – as always – at looking at creating the future together with you!