Invasion of the travel bloggers: TBEX takes over Toronto ... Deal of the day
More than a thousand travel bloggers from around the world are in Toronto, attending a TBEX travel bloggers conference at the Convention Centre downtown.
It’s a huge and growing event that Tourism Toronto officials were eager to host given the growing importance of social media and on-line media coverage, said spokesman Andrew Weir.
TBEX is “the kind of event every destination wants to host because it brings some of the most influential travel voices,” Weir said. “In Toronto’s case many have been here before and many others are visiting for the first time. Every one of them will experience something new because even for the repeat visitors there is so much new to experience and share.”
Weir said he’s already seen dozens of blog stories about Toronto and that the Twitter feed for TBEX and Toronto was relentless, even days before the event began. I've certainly seen a ton of stuff on Twitter with the hashtag #TBEX, including some fun bits of people taking photos of places Weir shot for a photography contest.
Tourism Toronto has organized 75 city tours for delegates in the days just before and after the conference, including everything from the 501 Queen streetcar experience, to architectural and graffiti tours to culinary and markets, neighbourhood diversity and biking on the islands. The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership and Canadian Tourism Commission also worked with Tourisn Toronto. OTMP offered 14 pre- and post- tours around the province to all sorts of destinations, everywhere from Stratford to Niagara to Ottawa to Thunder Bay; places that don't always get a lot of ink - or cyberspace.
The CTC has 25 bloggers from overseas markets such as the UK, Australia and Japan on trains meeting in Toronto. One group started in Vancouver and another in Halifax and a third group started in St. John’s.
Some of us, of course, happen to live in this pretty cool city and don't need to travel across the land, not that I'd mind.
The TBEX event was fairly low key in New York when I attended a couple years ago. I seem to recall a few hundred attendees, although there might have been more. I certainly don't recall 1,100 of us being around, and I sure don't remember having to choose between five or six or more parties to go to on a Friday night!
It's a shame the mayor's situation is taking so much attention, but someone once said that any publicity is good publicity so perhaps it won't really matter in the long run. There's certainly a lot to be gained from having so many active bloggers and tweeters talking up Toronto and Ontario and Canada. So welcome one and all. And see you around the town.
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