Take a look at the blog sector that always leads us in terms of innovative business models, monetization and industry relations – Fashion.
This week it was announced that fashion blogger Emily Johnston (@fashionfoiegras) has designed a new handbag – a blogger-friendly handbag “which includes a padded pocket to hold a blogger’s trusty digital SLR camera and a compartment to store flat shoes for when heels get too much”.
In pre-blogger days, all but a very small handful of TV and print travel journalists were anonymous, but even then there were similar rare examples.
In the UK, readers of The Sunday Times newspaper travel section would recognise the work of their Chief Travel Correspondent, David Wickers, and his work as the travel editor of Good Housekeeping magazine. So when in 2005 he teamed up with well-known tour operator, Jerry Bridge, founder of Bridge the World, to create Bridge & Wickers it was a bit of a branding & skills no-brainer!
Now I’m not suggesting that some of our pre-eminent travel bloggers should rush off and set up travel companies – at least not yet I’m not suggesting that some of our pre-eminent travel bloggers should rush off and set up travel companies – at least not yet – but I am suggesting that switched on tour operators and travel companies might start thinking about partnering with key bloggers on the creation of travel products.
Already we are seeing innovative partnerships with bloggers like the G Adventures’ Wanderers in Residence blog, but that is simply providing editorial copy on their destinations and tours. As yet (at least, not to my knowledge) Bruce Poon Tip hasn’t asked Gary, Nellie, Jodi, Matt, or any of the team to create their ideal tour itinerary to Morocco, Thailand, or Namibia, for example.
There’s no reason why blogger-branded tours shouldn’t become a feature of the new socially engaged travel industry. We might all get quite used to seeing, for example…
- A railway tour operator offering the 8-day Trains on the Brain ‘must-do’ rail tour of Poland.
- A city break operator featuring several 48-hour Adventure weekends.
- An Indian Festivals tour brochure by Mariellen Ward from the tours division of a luxury hotel group.
- A 6-night Planet D Classic Jamaica break in the brochure of a mainstream operator.
- Janice Waugh‘s 14-day ‘Solo in Europe’ adventure tour itinerary from the tours division of a long haul airline.
(Sorry guys. Hope you don’t mind my using you as examples!)
The deal could be quite innovative too. Maybe a ‘design’ fee on the work putting it together and then a straight-forward commission on PAX, say 5% per customer? The operator gets a scaled cost on the success of the tour and the blogger can add a (hopefully) healthy revenue stream. Both parties benefit from the publicity and exposure to different audiences (the blogger’s name is in front of all those brochure readers and website viewers. The operator’s name is in front of the blogging community’s readership.) and both parties have a vested interest in marketing and engagement.
So, what kind of tour would you lend your name to?
- 8 August, 2012 @ 8:01 [Current Revision] by Alastair McKenzie
- 27 November, 2011 @ 15:39 by John O'Nolan