These Cool Perks Have Disappeared Due To COVID-19
As a travel blogger, one thing I really miss about travel – besides the traveling itself – in the COVID-19 era, is not generally mentioned by bloggers.
But it’s a huge part of being a travel blogger and one of the great perks of the job.
And that is all the local events for travel bloggers and travel media outlets put on by tourism boards and travel PR agencies.
The press events are like a press conference but with food and booze!
They are held in private areas of restaurants in major cities – bloggers are invited to ones in their area – or sometimes at exotic locations. Tourism Switzerland held regular events at the Swiss consultant’s home in Los Angeles and even had one on a boat that was once owned by Mae West.
Unlike a standard press conference, there is no real news that comes out of these events. Rather, the hosts provide overviews of what’s happening or what’s new and exciting at their respective destinations.
The hope from their end is that you will eventually write about the things they talked about at the event. The hope among us travel bloggers is they will send us to those places to write about it. (You should see the look on our faces as we turn to each other during a presentation of some some exotic location and mouth “oh, please send ME there!”)
That leads into the FAM trips, which I also have missed due to the coronavirus pandemic. These are comped trips, either solo or in a group, to various destinations. People are invited by tourism boards or PR agencies.
Personally, I prefer the group trips because of the mingling with other bloggers and all you have to do is show up at the designated meeting location on time. The on-site PR person (or people) take you to attractions, activities or restaurants. On solo trips (we’re allowed to bring one guest, usually), you’re on your own and follow an itinerary.
On both going to the local bars – and PubClub.com is primary a sight about nightlife – I do on my own after the official activities.
Of course, it’s not all wine and dine these days. During activities we are busy posting photos and videos to our social media accounts of our experiences. For some social media influences – those with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers – just do this and nothing else.
For the rest of us, when we return home we are expected to write articles and produce content on the things we experienced during the trip. I generally post several articles and YouTube videos on almost every aspect of the trip.
So it’s a lot of work but a lot of pleasure, too. And I miss that element of being a travel blogger.