Travel Bloggers - Who Needs Them?
Having recently been lambasted for calling travel bloggers "warts on the backside of the travel industry", it may be wise to take a few moments to clarify this rather (admittedly) wild statement.
Let me be clear, I have no time at all for those travel bloggers, who, because they have x amount of followers on whatever social media platform, think they have a god-given right to free holidays and plague operators and airlines with constant requests for freebies, on the promise of a write-up.
When these parasites are given a freebie, then that money has to come from somewhere and it is invariably out of the same pocket that funds front-line travel agent educationals.
Educationals are vitally important to front-line agents, especially those that are starting their career in travel and for many, hard to find. Catch 22 is often involved. A little bit. In order to get on an educational, you first have to sell that operators' holidays. In order to sell their holidays, it helps to know the operators' properties
Educationals actively support holiday sales, rather than simply producing a write-up that may or may not produce anything. Educationals are hard work. In the space of a week, an agent may cover up to 10 hotels a day every day, interspersed with visits to local attractions. They are not there to enjoy the attractions, they are there to see them and understand their purpose, to aid the selling of any given resort. If an agent is lucky, during their week, they may get a half day off.
There are those travel bloggers who view their blog as a sales tool. That is, to write about resorts from, perhaps, their knowledge garnered through an educational or from a personal holiday. There are, as well, those that write about their own holidays as a hobby. Both make sense and to those - and only those - that use their blog as a tool or hobby in this sense, I apologise.
The ones that I abhor, are those whose only target is a set number of followers for the sole purpose of being able to start calling operators and airlines to badger them for free seats and rooms. Even to the extent of using "number of followers" as some sort of a threat in the case of refusal.
"Influencers" in general, are not a good thing. Social media is serving the wrong master.