Third day at ITB Berlin… the end of independent travel bloggers?

I am currently attending the third day of the ITB Berlin. Tomorrow I will have my sightseeing-Berlin day.

Yesterday was rather succesful, meeting a lot of interesting people and I believe I managed to get our start up to another level.

Today I concentrate on the eBusiness aspect and visit some seminars, one just finished – it was about http://www.pocketvillage.com, a Berlin travel-meta-search start up. I will keep that one my list.

But I am more interested in the next seminar, about Blogging for Destinations. Back in the days, when I was Destination Manager in the Brandnertal, we decided, that this needs to much resources (time) and therefore decided to not do it.

Therefore I am quite interested in what other people believe …

UPDATE: The discussion, was more about bigger region, inviting Bloggers to their region. There was the example, of Jordan tourism, who invited 8 bloggers to write about their region. Another example was Great Britain who have a group of Bloggers who write about GB regullary. For their efforts they receive free trips and other things. I believe it would have been interesting, to discuss more about the impacts of this. Are this people any longer independend travel bloggers? I do not think so …

At the moment I am at a seminar a guy from the Costa Brava, who also uses Blogging to create stories about his region. He is interesting in storytellers. They invited 16 bloggers (one was part of the discussion in the other seminar) to Costa Brava for one week … they were chosen, due to relevance, topics and reach. They very thoroughly thought about, what topics and what things to do with the Bloggers. In my oppinion Costa Brava tourism set up the stories rather well and therefore gave a great example for good story telling.

What is happening here is that succesful bloggers develop into journalists, who are led through tourism destinations by the PR officers. This is good for them, and shows how professional they got – but it will reduce their indepence. Not because, they stop writing about their experiences, but because they are getting delivered messages, which are targeted at them and their audience.

What is your oppinion? How will it change the way you see big travel blogs? Are they still really independent?

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