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Going to Travel Blogger Unite Porto on Thursday…with the help of Paravion.ro

4 September 2012 miscellaneous No comment

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“In the summer, I don’t sleep” sings this summer’s mega-hit, but it seems that I don’t get so many occasions to do so during autumn as well…because I hit the road again, this time to Porto, the second biggest city in Portugal where I’ll attend at a travel bloggers conference. As I was saying with the support of the friends from Paravion.ro that have a special support program for the Romanian travel blogosphere! And I thank them with this occasion.

For a year now, I’ve been considering the idea of opening a blog in English as well. Working for years at multinational corporations where it is mandatory to stick your nose in other people’s business around the world, I did the same in this case as well. Even before contemplating the idea to open an English blog, I started reading other travel blogs as well, in English, not only Romanian…  because you always have something to learn from others. Eventually, I opened the blog in the English language at the beginning of May and slowly, slowly I started to be followed by readers there as well from all over the world.

Watching different posts or twits or discussion, I discovered that every year (or every half of a year) there are travel bloggers conferences, where travel bloggers learn different things in order to develop their blogs (from subjects like SEO to those as how to build a community, writing tips, how to take nice picture or videos). Obviously, the networking part is also very important, so that many of us that know each other from comments, twits or mails meet each other in person and last, but not least there is the opportunity of meeting marketing representatives of the tourism industry that are interested in working with the bloggers … the major forms are the famous blog-trips, but other forms of collaboration that are money-generating.

And because we are talking about a meeting of people that love traveling, some being real nomads, traveling for years, there are also city tours Porto and the surrounding areas offered mostly by the Bureau of Tourism in Portugal. I guess they are really happy that hundreds of people read by millions of potential tourists come to Portugal and tell stories about the beauties of this country.

As far as I know in Europe there are three bloggers conferences – one is the TBU (Travel Blogger Unite) that I attend, initiated and organized by a guy in the UK that takes place in Porto as of Friday. As far as I know, TBU takes place twice a year and this autumn’s edition, the one from Porto is the third, the other two being organized in Innsbruck, Austria and in the Italian Province of Umbria. I followed the development of the Umbria conference on hashtags and from the comments of the participants, apparently it was super-useful.

The second conference is TBEX, organized by an American company that organizes for the first time TBEX Europe in Girona, somewhere north of Barcelona, in Catalunya. The third, Travel Bloggers Elevator is around the middle of October in Genoa, but I do not know so many details about it. Although some bloggers will attend two of them, if not even three (most of them though attend TBU + TBEX), I will only go to the TBU because of time and budget issues…and talking about budget, I have to say that the attendance at the conference must be paid (I paid 60 English pounds, if I had decided from the start and get a “super early bird ticket”, it would have been only 20 pounds) and Paravion.ro helps me with the transport to Porto and the accommodation. Therefore, I am probably the first Romanian travel blogger attending such a conference and I hope to promote with this occasion the Romanian Travel Blogosphere.

And while talking about the Romanian travel blogosphere, I could say that it is one of the biggest, assorted and of high quality around this area. Ever since I have this blog in English, I started knowing and interacting with travel bloggers from surrounding countries – Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and Lithuania.  I was extremely surprised to find out that, following my talks with bloggers from Hungary and Serbia (their blogs are written in English and not in their native languages), there aren’t a lot of travel blogs in these two countries… while here, in Romania, there are tens of travel blogs, lots of them of very high quality. I do expect countries with a lot of tourists like Italy, France, Germany or Holland to have more high quality blogs, but I do not know. I hope to be enlightened after the TBU conference.

I will keep you posted with what’s going on there, what they talk about and which are the key learnings, but also the challenges of English blogosphere. I won’t miss writing about our host-city, Porto in order to tell you some traveling tips ! Although I have been to Portugal twice up until now, I have never been to Porto, only in Lisbon and the adjacent area (the most northern point I reached was Tomar, the secret town of the Templars after the disintegration of the famous order), but whoever was there, told me it was a superb city, maybe ever more beautiful than Lisbon, that I actually liked very very much!

I will leave for Porto flying Lufthansa via Frankfurt and I will return home on the 11th of September (hmmm…it’s not such an auspicious day for plane flying :)) by the Portuguese company TAP via Lisbon. It will be my first flight by TAP and because it started operating just 2 months ago in Romania connecting Bucharest to Lisbon, I never used their services before.

In case you’ve been to Porto and have some advice to share regarding this city, I would thank you… as I also thank Paravion.ro for sponsoring my trip to Porto for TBU !

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