Travel Bloggers Converge On NYC For Annual Meet-Up
Travel magazines may be a dying breed, but the world of travel blogging is exploding in popularity. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
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Hundreds of travel writers recently flocked to Greenwich Village for TBEX, the second annual Travel Blog Exchange.
"An extraordinary number of people obviously because it’s such a wonderful topic, suddenly had an avenue with which to pursue their dreams, their passion," said SFO Chronicle Travel Editor Spud Hilton.
Many newbie bloggers get started as a way to document their personal travels.
"As a high school English teacher I was also a frustrated writer, and I realized as I began a blogspot blog how freeing and wonderful it felt to be able to write down all these things as I was feeling," said Lillie Marshall of www.aroundtheworldl.com.
While bloggers might be unearthing a whole new world, it still comes down to the basics.
"It's all about creating a great story that transports a reader from one place to another and then teaches them something really important about that place," said travel writer Don George.
The public relations industry is embracing the blogosphere, even if writers don’t yet have a dedicated following.
"Maybe right now you don’t have the traffic but if you continue to produce quality content you are going to build up your audience and eventually you are going to be an A-lister, you are going to be a star," said Amy Kemp of Vail Resorts Public Relations.
VO One of those online travel stars is Johnny Jet who is managing to make a living at it.
"It's not a lot of money, it’s a lifestyle. But you can pay all your bills and I get to travel around the world, see the world for basically free," said Johnny Jet of JohnnyJet.com.
The Federal Trade Commission is also taking notice of the travel blogging universe.
"When a blogger has received freebies from the travel industry they should disclose that clear and upfront in their review," said Mary Engle of the Federal Trade Commission.
While new bloggers might offer a new energy, some vets say nothing beats a full passport.
"I think being a good travel writer, travel expert takes years and years and years of experience and my fear is that there are a lot of people writing travel blogs who have not traveled that much," said Wendy Perrin of Conde Nast Traveler.
For information on next year's travel blog exchange being held in Vancouver, visit http://www.travelblogexchange.com.