Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, a five star hotel chain in Sri Lanka partnered with Professional Travel Bloggers’ Association (PTBA) and the National Carrier SriLankan Airlines yesterday to host Asia’s first ever Travel Bloggers’ Conference, TBC Asia.
TBC Asia – a brainchild of Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts is targeted at promoting referral marketing in selecting destinations, products and services and will be held from November 14 to 18, 2014 in Colombo.
More than 50 bloggers from all around the world will be hosted by Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts on a four day pre-conference tour of Sri Lanka to study, observe, document and site-see Habarana, Kandy and Beruwala areas rich in heritage, history, culture and pristine beaches in the South coast of the island.
The final day of the conference (November 18) hosted by Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo will be when the professionals of the travel and hospitality industry, including local and foreign representatives of t he t ourist boards, travel agents and other stakeholders have an opportunity to interact with the these leading travel bloggers to clarify and learn issues through panel discussions.
Meanwhile, the background of referral marketing has today evolved to a state where only 18 percent of the global tourist cluster visits travel agents to receive information, while a majority of 69 percent tourists visit websites, read reviews, refer to pictures and blog posts to get an idea on the look and feel of destinations.
Speaking to Mirror Business, PTBA’s Immediate Past President Michael Hodson said, “Currently our association has 340 registered members, within the last three days these 340 members have received 10 million visitors to their websites while at large we also have 2.4 million Facebook fans and 3 million Twitter fans giving an idea on the impact made by travel bloggers towards the tourism industry.”
He highlighted the importance of the role played by travel bloggers who do research and rate destinations and capture sceneries that would give any tourist an experience equal to a firsthand visit to the respective destination.