“The travel industry has evolved tremendously
worldwide over the last twenty years”
Travel writing or blogging, is an expression of our beliefs and a platform for education and change. It connects us with like-minded people on a global scale in an industry that is ever changing, and a world that is ever needing. It is visionaries like Rosana Brien, leaders such as MyDestination, conscious service providers and “local” writers that will shape the future of “Responsible Travel” on a global scale.
Here, Rosana Brien, Managing Director of MyDestinationBC shares her thoughts on the topic of “Responsible Travel”, the “MyDestination” network and offers insight into the world of Travel Blogging.
Rosana Brien, Managing Director of My Destination British Columbia,
immigrated to B.C. over twenty years ago from Barbados, W.I.
“My Destination works with many
guest bloggers from around the world”
Kelly Little: What is My Destination BC, how did you become involved and what is your position?
Rosana Brien: My Destination British Columbia is part of the international My Destination multimedia-rich network bringing local knowledge to global travellers online. As a travel portal, My Destination British Columbia works with industry stakeholders and local communities to showcase this province on the global network. A couple of years ago My Destination was looking for someone to help organize information from BC, and I was able to bring my experience of publishing to this application. As a general manager I oversee content writers, multimedia such as videos and virtual tours, and work with travel and adventure providers locally to showcase their businesses.
Kelly Little: What changes have you seen in the travel industry in the last twenty years in BC and what do you predict for the next twenty?
Rosana Brien: The travel industry has evolved tremendously worldwide over the last twenty years and certainly BC has progressed impressively in the past decade. However global competition is fierce and BC has much to do in order to push itself to the forefront to catch new travellers’ interest. I think it is important not to become too complacent and not to get caught up in our own echo chamber, but to think beyond the norm, beyond these shores, and to see what other competing destinations are doing and succeeding in. Otherwise we may fall victim to a false sense of comfort that BC is doing ‘okay’. Predicting the next twenty years is a tough call for sure, but we can certainly see the next few years bringing more emphasis to responsible travel and eco-awareness from both local and internationals visitors. Not only what relates to the natural environment but also what is needed for communities to better sustain themselves, and how to help the vulnerable in particular destinations.
“Our editorial team often look for quirky angles
and off-the-beaten-path type of experiences”
Kelly Little: What are your thoughts on Responsible Travel – such as ecotourism, voluntourism and sustainable travel? Are many BC service providers onboard with the concept?
Rosana Brien: Thankfully we have the opportunity as well as access to knowledge to become more aware of the choices we make, to learn more and make a difference when we travel. Understanding as a traveller our impact on the environment and communities and learning about location specific challenges is becoming the norm, acceptable, and this is good. While we can’t eliminate all issues overnight, and sometimes for some it may just not be feasible yet, we can all make small steps in this direction. I was impressed recently with the winners of the Biggest Baddest Bucket List competition, Mark and Alex, and their interest in the preservation of living languages, an issue that touches on Aboriginal and specifically BC’s First Nations cultures. Also, the enthusiasm of Toronto contestants, Giselle and Cody, highlighted how they had volunteered at an Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, which no doubt added to their own personal experience in their travels, but really helped in the circumstances there. As with all these experiences it shapes us.
Yes, many businesses in BC are embracing the concept of responsible travel. Our history, as mankind, unfortunately shows us that we often think about this when we are suddenly facing a dilemma. But we can learn from our mistakes, from history and the impact that certain actions have in other destinations around the world. The efforts and struggles from many individuals past and current in getting the message out there against all odds is now making an impact for better understanding, to re-think. Responsible travel shows us that we can all be part in the protection and conservation efforts whether locally in BC or if visiting a third-world destination.
“My Destination offers a platform for BC to showcase
its travel opportunities and
adventure to a global audience alongside other wonderful destinations.
a million viewers each month”
Kelly Little: What style of blogging makes for great local branding, how can bloggers help and what types of stories sell?
Rosana Brien: My Destination works with many guest bloggers from around the world and the one thing our editors look for above all else is inspiring posts which are engaging from a personal perspective. Originality is very important of course, but also delivery and presentation to capture the interest of readers. Our editorial team often look for quirky angles and off-the-beaten-path type of experiences. Locally we aim to bring that touch to our articles for BC, Canada and across the network. With so many wonderful travel writers, the world of blogging can look like a tough career move, but if you can find your own unique voice, there is opportunity to get a loyal following. There are still many tales to be told.
Kelly Little: My Destination BC is visionary and a leader in the tourism industry. What sets My Destination BC apart and how has that influenced tourism in the province?
Rosana Brien: My Destination BC has evolved along with My Destination who have developed over the years to improve its information delivery platform for travellers. With colleagues around the world in each of the destinations we are able to tap into a broad base of insight and relevant information throughout the network to better bring forward what audiences today are looking for. With technology what it is today, we need to be prepared to continually develop and keep up with trends, not only from a technological perspective but also from what travellers want and need. My Destination offers a platform for BC to showcase its travel opportunities and adventure to a global audience alongside other wonderful destinations. With over a million viewers each month, and growing, My Destination and our province BC are able to continue to showcase to all our viewers. To a certain extent we have been the recipients of influence from travellers, and ultimately the reason why we and our partners continue to transform for their needs.
“There are still many tales to be told”
*The My Destination travel network is taking the world by storm in 6 continents, 47 countries, 93 destinations and growing rapidly!