Has the Pandemic Killed the Freebie Journey for Travel Influencers? – Skift

It is not uncommon to hear of drug dealers going on a rampage. The idea of ​​online retailers requesting free or paid accommodation to get to their destinations or hotels by exchanging and shipping from those places has become strange, as unpleasant, surprising in the last decade. But the last person you would expect to hear criticism from is the blogger himself.

Ana Silva O’Reilly, who has been running the OO World Women’s Blog since 2011, is inviting friends to take a break. Writing in a blog earlier this summer, he launched the #PayingOurWay campaign, inviting bloggers who are more focused on travel and sponsors to help travel companies get better without asking for free or official travel.

“Once the tour is reopened and it is possible for us to come back, I urge bloggers and moderators – who have benefited from the many journalists’ visits, free and helpful in the past – to help these companies establish their residences, vacations, city travel,” he wrote. do what is shown for free, without asking for payment or free access. “

Silva O’Reilly’s campaign deals with divisions in the travel industry: Is it worth it to offer free tours to directors, bloggers, and other travel writers when reimbursement is difficult to predict? Other than that, anyone can call themselves a “tourist,” from a travel journalist with a few thousand followers to popular online sites with great access, but not very often.

This question is compounded by the epidemic, a time when many companies travel small and large are in the throes of survival. As a result, managed requests to pay for exchanges with the findings are not only seen as impossible, but unthinkable – and possibly destructive to future business relationships.

Ana Silva O’Reilly of ‘Women of All the World’

Silva O’Reilly also made it clear in an interview with Skift that he is not asking people to work (make content, that is) for free. He is simply saying that this is not the time to try to make a living by exchanging personal rights or contracts. That said, it is a go-to trip where you feel comfortable and support your business with your wallet.

They also claim that like many other bloggers, they have a number of sources of income (they do advertising work) which means they have no money at the moment. It is worth noting that many managers see them as their only source of income, which has disrupted the future of the project since its inception in March.

Silva O’Reilly’s response from his affiliates has been encouraging, with tour agencies, hotels and businesses saying, “Thank you so much for this. It is good that our time is not wasted on these requests.”

But not everyone agrees that it is the worst time for managers to go to work with products – and not all manufacturers have the opportunity to respond to what they can get. Jade Broadus, vice president and executive director of Travel Mindset, a promotional advertising company that connects tour operators with campaigns and content, said the destinations and reopening hotels could continue at a level of trust with an audience. He added that 80% of those interested would say they had been affected by their followers since the epidemic began.

“Pre-Covid, it was sometimes difficult for hotels to provide accommodation because they could sell the rooms to pay for guests. We are in an exciting time when hotels are not selling all the rooms and their restaurants and other online activities are also overcrowded, ”Broadus wrote in an email. “Now, hotels can improve this by providing accommodations for local travelers and directing advertisers to the market and bloggers to quickly find the right journalists for them. Advertisers can show how they feel about the venue, the new hotel plans, and share real-time travel. . ”

Broadus also pushed back the idea of ​​”free” or “final” travel. He also said that if there are no clear results reported among those interested in the customer, then it is a way for unrealistic expectations. But it is one that is easily facilitated by the partnership and I have a clear expectation of what can be provided, whether the promoter is paid for their work or is simply given a free tour. This is as true during the plague as before.

“This does not mean that hotels and destinations have to offer the opportunity to have a personal interview or a media request,” Broadus said. “Now is the time for hotels to be able to rely on the strong relationships they have built and to work with the sponsors they trust, with the best of both worlds and the market they want. are well-known and well-known bloggers and receive a lot of attention. ”

Nigel Glennie, Hilton’s vice president of international communications, also said that if tourists and bloggers went to visit the hotel right now, they should do so carefully and with understanding.

“It goes without saying that travel and tourism are a major part of the global epidemic,” Glennie said. “Any guide who arrives at a business or hotel right now is wise to keep this in mind, and change as they should. We are currently respectfully reducing the frequency, and requests to stay free will is quickly removed. It is unknown to outsiders in our industry, but there is no free bedroom. ”

So this unforgettable journey may not have ended, but it was already going on to become more conscious, at least. Silva O’Reilly points out that for a long time, “influencer” or “blogger” has been quoting — all the words when a fashion designer sends pictures of a bikini and a hotel pool if history only sees her as a regular person with a high-profile travel interest, for example.

“This will separate more professionals from less work,” said Silva O’Reilly. “Anyone I know who does this carefully has a lot of money. You cannot have all your eggs in one basket. Also, you will not live a life of luxury travel. I don’t know how people eat there. If all is free, who pays Amex? ”

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