• Cyril McAree

Tourism’s Biggest Social Media Influencers To Share Ireland With 380m Followers


More than 600 of the world’s top travel social influencers, with a combined reach of 380 million travel fans, have arrived in Ireland to attend TBEX Europe, the largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, content creators and social media-savvy travel industry professionals in Europe. This highly influential group, who have been arriving in Ireland all last week, will each spend an average of two weeks exploring Ireland and attending TBEX Europe which takes place from 3-5th October 2017 in the Killarney Convention Centre/INEC, Killarney following a successful bid to host the event by Fáilte Ireland. For almost half of the TBEX delegates, this will be their first experience of Ireland.

Ahead of TBEX Europe Fáilte Ireland has organised the TBEX Fáilte Ireland Travel Summit which will bring 22 of these key influencers with a combined audience of 13 million to Kilkea Castle today (Sunday 1st October 2017) where they will discuss the role of social media influencers in building compelling destination brands.

As part of this event, these global travel bloggers and travel writers will meet with influential travel tech brands including Twitter, Travel Massive, Lonely Planet, Razorsocial and OpenJaw and Irish tourism brands such as Aer Lingus, Guinness Storehouse and Waterford Crystal to explore best practices in influencer marketing, online content creation, and discuss the future of travel media before embarking on an in-depth discussion about Ireland as a destination.

Speaking ahead of the Summit and Conference, Fáilte Ireland CEO, Paul Kelly explained: “No other event offers Ireland the opportunity to meet with so many travel bloggers, traditional travel media, digital content creators and social media influencers all at once. This highly influential group will spend on average two weeks in Ireland, exploring and experiencing all that is on offer and Fáilte Ireland has been working hard to ensure Ireland can reap the benefits of their time spent here.

“When we consider the scale of their audiences, hosting these delegates is a unique opportunity for us to increase Ireland’s digital footprint and reinforce the many reasons why Ireland should be a destination of choice for these influencers and their followers.”

While the delegates are here, Fáilte Ireland will showcase Ireland’s visitor experience brands by bringing hundreds of these influencers on bespoke fact-finding trips where they will experience first-hand what Ireland’s Ancient East, the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin have to offer. Directly after the conference the influencers will also be treated to day trips around Killarney, the host town for TBEX Europe. These trips will take place from 6-10th October and full details of the tours can be found here.

Irish Tourism Businesses – Getting Ready and Speed dating Opportunities:

To maximise the opportunity TBEX Europe presents, Fáilte Ireland has been working with up to 500 members of the Irish tourism industry to ensure they are ready to play their part in providing an unforgettable experience as the TBEX delegates explore the country. Workshops and webinars have provided those businesses with top tips on increasing traffic to their social channels, amplifying positive coverage and using photography to get their message to global audiences. Irish tourism businesses will also have the opportunity to take part in a speed-dating networking session with the international delegates where they will have the chance to showcase their products and pitch story ideas to some of the world’s top social travel influencers.

Since its inception in 2009 TBEX has grown into the world’s largest travel community, with conferences held annually in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. In 2016, TBEX events across the globe reached over 358 million travel consumers worldwide. Explaining how these conferences can benefit the host country, TBEX CEO, Rick Calvert emphasised:

"Host countries for TBEX benefit in several ways. There is a direct economic impact. Our attendees stay an average of 10 days for a two day conference. Then of course there is all of the social media interaction. On Twitter alone, TBEX will generate hundreds of millions of impressions and reach tens of millions of people all over the world before, during and after the conference. Add to that, the thousands of photographs posted to Instagram, Google + and other sites, the videos on YouTube, the hundreds of blog posts, the Facebook posts, Pinterest posts and Snaps; you are looking at years’ worth of media exposure packed into a few days.”

The first TBEX was held in 2009 after an email was sent to six friends. Since then, it has grown into the world’s largest travel community, with conferences held annually in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Each TBEX conference attracts hundreds of delegates from around the world, making it the best opportunity for digital marketers, travel brands, PR firms and their clients, to engage with the most influential travel bloggers and leading digital content creators. According to Nielsen Cataline Solutions, ‘influencer marketing’ in certain sectors can deliver 11 times the return on investment over all other forms of digital media.

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