As I sit alone, after nearly three weeks travelling scenic Switzerland, starting to go through the notes and scores of photos I took, the cards collected and ATWS presentations, I’m feeling overwhelmed by all that happened in such a short time.
What have I learned? What is most important to follow up on? What do I adopt as I move forward? These are the questions that I’d guess many of you also are grappling with, unless you’ve been sucked back into the frenetic pace of your job.
This was my fifth ATWS. I’m no rookie, but I realize I haven’t taken full advantage of all the opportunities presented in the past. That said, I’ve had the pleasure of working with several tour operators and DMO’s that I have met at past summits, resulting in numerous published stories and photos. This time my goal is not to be too busy now that I’m back to “reality” to follow up.
This year, with the changes in traditional and new media and how travelers want information accelerating to a dizzying pace, I feel I’ve been standing at the edge of a precipice. Do I stay committed to writing for traditional (primarily print) media – magazines and newspapers? Or do I embrace new media like blogging and social media, creating my own “publication”? Should I put all my eggs in that basket, as some have done? Or do I try to do it all?
What do you (tour operators, DMOs and tourist boards, PR folks and editors) really want from the travel media you work with? I see us working as partners, which means I need to be responsive to what works best for you. I had many interesting conversations at ATWS and came away with much to consider. Thank you to all. If you’d like to contribute to this conversation, I’d love to hear from you.
I hope the media workshops helped you understand a little more about how we work and what we need. I came away with places I now want to visit, tour ops I would love to work with and lots of story ideas. They include Ireland’s The Gathering 2013 and Namibia’s extraordinary ecotourism success.
Most of all, I came away with new partners and friends, inspired and jazzed about continuing to do what I love and working with you to tell your great ecotourism and adventure stories! The world needs our positive contributions.