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We here at Skift are on a long term mission to highlight the junket culture — what we call the inherent junketism — ingrained over the years into the travel industry. With travel bloggers (and their social media reach along with it) coming into the mix over the last few years, these junkets are now becoming organized programs, and still remains to be seen whether they end up benefiting the travel consumer or misinforms them with biased information.
Recently at UNWTO’s “Flavours of the Silk Road” Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan, a presentation on “Why work with Bloggers” by blogger/consultant Steve Whale is instructive on how the travel bloggers and travel industry are working hand in hand to promote destinations. This slide from the presentation should be scary: search results easily “bought” as a result of these junket programs, without little indication of the payola and biases involved.
The full presentation embedded below: