Mag. Ulrike Tschach-Sauerzopf, head of Innovation & Strategic Development, at Burgenland Tourismus destination management company, writes to me on 3 October, 2011 (my 28th birthday) along the following, fateful lines: “You have written a lot of travel articles on blogs haven’t you … Could you email me the link once more?” …
Well, I could. And only a little later, we started envisaging the travel blogging future together. This was beginning of my travel blogging love affair to date, combining PR & Blogs, writing & photography, travel & networking. I was really lucky to count on the support of the likes of fellow Austrian “Tripwolf” Lea Hajner who herself is a talented travel blogger in the field, as well as being able to participate in one of the first international travel blogger conferences, “Travel Bloggers Unite” in Innsbruck in August 2011.
THANK YOU, dear Lea, dear Oliver, dear Sarah, dear Terry, dear Julie, dear Uli and all of who “started believing in and encouraging me even back then” – when I had “only” published abou 30 stories for the Tripwolf travel blog, had only started building our own corporate “Kreativ Reisen blog” while still being a year away from starting my own weblog at www.creativelena.com. But let’s recapitulate. What has actually happened, in & around Burgenland, Austria’s eastern-most charming travel province? “You have written a lot of articles on blogs haven’t you …?”
Tripwolf, Creative Travel & discovering “Burgenland Neu Entdecken”
Sometimes, life really plays in your favour. Or so it appears. Those who share a passion and work on their quality will, I believe, will be able to reap the benefits sooner or later. Still today, I’m a regular contributor to the Tripwolf travel blog maintaining close relations with Lea and her team. The Creative Travel Blog has grown thanks to several articles and travel blogger events experiencing creative travel in Austria: Our next creative beer brewing event, among other activities, takes place in June 2013 in the city of Salzburg, Salzburg province and Tyrol expecting high-profile travel bloggers such as Yvonne Zagermann’s brother Johannes / JustTravelous, Susi Maier of BlackDotsWhiteSpots & Janett Schindler of Teilzeitreisender.de. (I look forward to you guys!! :-D)
And Burgenland – my first big project concerning the marriage of travel destination management and travel bloggers? Well, dear Uli – “Innovative & Strategic” Mind! Thank you above all for having realised the potential on the (Austrian) travel blogging horizon even back then when the media landscape was still, well, rather traditional-thinking. I remember as we sat down in 2011 / 2012 thinking which topics could be of interest for bloggers in Burgenland. It had to be out of the ordinary, honest and authentic, offer a unique level of quality and reflect an easy-going, “everyday travel life” attitude. “Grenzerfahrungen im Burgenland” (pushing to the limits – cycling along the Austro-Hungarian border), “Pannonia Nature Experience ” or visiting world-famous “Surfworldcup in Podersdorf on lake Neusiedl” it was, topped by eating at wonderful pubs and restaurants and staying with local storytellers, the “Pannonisch-Wohnen” guesthouses typical of Pannonia Burgenland.
100+ new articles, 10+ new videos, millions of page views & Tweet-Impressions – only in 2012. “Burgenland Neu Entdecken” goes viral – and “through the roof”!
If ever there was a roof. Because what actually happened is that the campaign of receiving travel bloggers to Burgenland in 2012 has created its own benchmarks, only to successfully conclude at the end of the year: This is working! Now, even newspaper journalists have started joining the scene, realising the value of an online (blog) article rising over time, being shared, viewed & commented on many times over and just remaining there permanently. Along these lines, Karl-Heinz Jeller, head of the travel department at daily Austrian newspaper KURIER has decided to blog about his Burgenland travel experiences even two days ahead of the official print release: “Frauen mit Stihl – reisen made by jeller”!
This is an exciting outcome and a good reminder of how the Internet and traditional media may successfuly combine, fuelling the current debate of travel bloggers vs. journalists. Owing to our very own positive conclusions and experiences, we can only say that the market is unfolding quite rapidly: EXCITING TIMES ARE AHEAD! Stay tuned !!