‘Bitten’ hard by the pandemic

“It’s affected those influencers who rely on paid partnerships, sponsors and branding gigs significantly.”

By   |  Published: 25th May 2020  9:02 pm

Those passionate about travelling and made it their profession are now rethinking their strategies for web traffic and content post-Covid outbreak.

Before the world, as we know it decided to go under a lockdown, travel influencers across the globe were busy planning their next trip, sorting through thousands of pictures they had taken during their last trip and editing hours of raw footage to be posted on their YouTube channel.

That went kaput when the pandemic forced everyone inside and travel literally became the last word in people’s dictionary. No one wanted to touch anything to do with travel, hotels and eateries with a ten-foot barge pole. The pandemic hit popular travel influencer, Shagun Segan of @Eattripclick, in the city especially hard. First it led to cancelling his trip to Japan to see the cherry blossoms and second a video and campaign he created for promotional purposes for a well-known production house in the city became redundant with everyone staying put wherever they were.

“It’s affected those influencers who rely on paid partnerships, sponsors and branding gigs significantly. Usually, trips when promoted by a hotel or a Tourism department require one to spend one to two weeks in the property or the place, and that means a lot of back and forth over several weeks. Many travel influencers I know have faced losses in lakhs over tickets, reservations,” says Shagun. He is uncertain about the next 6-8 months, but he says travel influencers may play an important role in promoting tourism once again by posting and writing about the precautions being taken.

Side gigs have come as a great help for most in these trying times, in travel writer Aruna Chandaraju’s case, her expertise in music and arts allowed her to continue writing for magazines and newspapers when travel sections were shelved. “Savings definitely help, but I believe now would be a good time for those who deal in travel content to start looking at alternative options, especially if this is their main source of livelihood. Local travel to surrounding regions may become more popular as people can go in their own cars,” adds Aruna Chandaraju. Travel photographer Prudhvi Chowdhary is of the opinion that for the next couple of months, bloggers could post content from past trips to keep their followers glued.

Shagun, on his part has been doing QnA’s with his followers ‘working on the idea that if you can’t go on a trip, why not plan for it?’