Ireland proves to be a favourite destination for a crowd of almost 600 travel bloggers who have gathered at the Double Tree Hotel in Dublin.
The online writers convened at the Burlington Road location to attend the 2013 Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) European Conference that kicked off yesterday morning.
Exceeding expected figures of around 500 attendees, bloggers from all over the globe subscribed to the two day networking event.
And many of the delegates believed that Ireland – despite the wet weather – was the natural choice for this year’s social media affair.
US-based travel expert and the Editor in Chief of leading travel website JohnnyJet.com, Johnny Jet (born John Einar DiScala) told Independent.ie that “Ireland is a perfect destination to have a conference overseas.”
“The best part about Ireland is the Irish. The people are amazing and friendly,” he said.
Speaker Shane Dallas (The Travel Camel) will be sharing with delegates how “to grow and nurture online communities” in a seminar at the TBEX event today.
“The best way to do that is to instil respect in members and encourage members to participate more,” he said.
He too approves of the choice of location, saying “Ireland is not just a good spot, it’s a great spot to visit.”
“I’ve really loved it because of the hospitality of the people, some of the friendliest I’ve ever met. There’s so much culture here, it’s so rich and people are so proud of it.”
Chip Conley, Head of Global Hospitality for budget accommodation firm Air bnb, was the opening keynote speaker for the event.
“I just wrote a blog post for the five best countries in the world for hospitality and Ireland is one of them. The friendly spirit here is sort of infectious,” he said.
Furthermore, Mr Conley said Ireland was becoming a “centre for commerce”, commenting on the fact that Dublin has recently been chosen as the Air bnb hub for all of Europe.
“Europe represents more than 50pc of Air bnb’s business so this is a very important location.”
Fáilte Ireland’s bid to host the event won out over applications from other international venues. At the event launch, Director of Marketing, John Concannon, said that “the future of travel and tourism is increasingly digital.”
“This is an excellent opportunity for Irish tourism businesses to get ‘wired’ and plug in to the opportunities that social media offers them to win more fans, visitors and revenue.”