Travel Media & Professionals Gathered at the Jetset Social - Featuring Six Top Travel Celebrities Discussing Bridging the Gap Between New & Traditional Media
First Annual Travel Event Sponsored by Imagecraft, GroundLink, The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Watchitoo, The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau (LA INC.), Tourism Malaysia, Anastasia's Africa, Northern Quest Resort & Casino, Luxury Link, Smarty, CTS Travel, Lee Abbamonte.com, Orchid Resorts & Escapes, Ashley Colburn Productions & Vanity Girl Hollywood
The globetrotting panel included travel expert Johnny Jet of JohnnyJet.com, Jeff Greif owner of TravelSquire.com, Stacy Dreyfus Founder of Orchid Worldwide Resorts and Escapes, Go To Travel Guy of CTS Travel, James Densmore, Global adventurer Lee Abbamonte, and Ashley Colburn of “Take Off with Ashley Colburn”; Amy Swift Founder of SMARTY moderated.
“It was really important to me that the panel speakers be in the travel trenches today,” says Mary Anne Been of Jetset Extra. “With communication and content moving so fast, our audience needs to hear directly from the people who are forging these new paths between the old and new media.”
The panel members discussed some of the hottest topics in travel writing, including the best ways for traditional media to employ social networking sites and how a strong social-media following is critical when approaching hotels, resorts, tourism bureaus, and Convention and Visitors Bureaus.
All of the speakers agreed that having a strong presence and a “robust following” on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, and Tumblrare essential to success. Several of the speakers noted that journalists need at least 5,000 to10,000 followers before some travel providers will engage with them.
The speakers reflected on how quickly the Internet transformed the landscape of travel writing. “In 2004 I was invited to go on a press trip to New Zealand, only if I had a print assignment for a glossy magazine,” stated Johnny Jet. However, “the web article I produced brought in more business for the destination than the print article did.”
Although the panelists came from diverse backgrounds and had many different opinions and approaches, they all agreed on one thing, building strong relationships and trust are essential for both journalists and travel providers. It’s critical to follow through and come through with what you promise, the speakers agreed, because the travel industry is a small world, and travel providers share information about writers who fail to deliver.
Stacy Dreyfus of Orchid Worldwide Resorts & Escapes stated “hotels and resorts want to know what they’re getting before they offer to host a travel writer.” James Densmore of CTS travel asserted “hotels and airlines aren’t giving things away the way they used to; the economy has changed and so many people are asking for freebies.” He suggested requesting a tour of a hotel or having dinner there and writing about it. “They’ll probably treat you next time,” he said. Jeff Greif of Travel Squire agreed, “Once they feel you’re going to deliver for them they’ll do something for you.”
The event which had full scale TV production crew, courtesy of the Presenting Sponsor Imagecraft Productions, was broadcast live to viewers worldwide as JSE streamed the event globally via Watchitoo.
First year sponsors include: Presenting Sponsor Imagecraft, Official Ground Transportation Sponsor GroundLink, The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Watchitoo, The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau (LA INC.), Tourism Malaysia, Anastasia’s Africa, Smarty, CTS Travel, Lee Abbamonte.com, Orchid Resorts & Escapes, Ashley Colburn Productions, Vanity Girl Hollywood, Northern Quest Resort & Casino, Grizzly Republic Wines, Pama, Hpnotiq, Hpnotiq Harmonie, Evan Williams Honey Reserve, Burnett’s Vodka, Lunazul Tequila, Hansen’s Natural, Monster Energy, Polkatots Cupcakes, Susan Ledgerwood Photography, Agro Labs, CanvasPop, Dream Water, JHill Design, WineTime Bar (ResVez), The Explorateur, Store Smart, Flyright, Pingo, SoleUtion, Freshends, Action Wipes, Zenify, Every Drop, BARE Body Collection, Twin Cottage Industries, Clever Travel Companion, Indie Lee, Raymond Vineyards and Think Thin. Media Sponsors: O’Dwyer PR, Popmuncher.com, Graffiti PR, We Said Go Travel, Wanderlust & Lipstick, Los Angeles Consortium of Online Travel (LACOT), and Raffle Sponsor Luxury Link.
For more info on the event or to watch the replay visit JetsetExtra dot com.
Rachel Madison Hill