Prepare for a Virtual Journey of Discovery to Reunion Island
A posse of top international and South African bloggers and online media are preparing to head to Reunion Island from 26 June-3 July 2014 where they will absorb the island’s extensive diversity, easy lifestyle and warm hospitality to share with the wanderlust-dusted eyes of the world through the storytelling hashtag #gotoreunion.
The blogger trip coincides with the launch of a new blog for Reunion blog.welcometoreunionisland.com which will cater specifically to the interests of the South African market. Already famed for its adventure offering, Reunion is a creolised French department; a part of France situated in the Southern Hemisphere’s Indian Ocean Islands.
No Visa Requirements for South Africans
South Africans no longer need a visa to visit, making Reunion Island a top go-to destination for families, couples and adventurers in search of a beach holiday that offers so much more, and all within an easy four-hour flight with Air Austral from Johannesburg.
Not only do you not require a visa, spontaneous South Africans can take advantage of a special rate being offered by Air Austral for a limited time only. For R 4354 return (ZAR 1870 per person +airport taxes of ZAR 2484 – TOTAL ZAR 4354) you can fly direct from Johannesburg to Reunion Island. (For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (011) 326 4443/ 326 4388 / 326 0626 / 326 3837)
Why Visit Reunion Island?
Reunion Island is a fascinating blend of raw, exotic nature and French-Creole refinement; a must for the curious traveller, with 42% of the island declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a hiking mecca with extraordinary routes circling live volcanoes and brushing through forests of ferns and flowers. Visitors can also relax, enjoy spa treatments and yoga and experience the interesting creole food and colourful culture.
Reunion Island Tourism mandated Destinate to conceptualise a digital marketing campaign for the island. The campaign has increased content sharing and story-telling via social media networks and will see a new interactive blog platform launch just before the travel bloggers congregate in Reunion Island.
Why a Blogger Campaign?
For many travellers, to “escape” means immersing themselves into a new destination where they can lose themselves for a few days in the everyday life of places where people live, work and play. Visitors do not want “perfect places”, but rather seek real places that offer unique, real and memorable experiences that can truly enrich their lives.
A growing yearning for authenticity, accountability and responsible living is key to understanding today’s human and travel landscape – bringing together our imperfect pasts with a desire to contribute to a better future. We all have a deep need to connect emotionally and share our experiences with each other. Research indicates that travel experiences and visuals are the most shared on social media platforms, influencing others’ travel decisions and general outlook on the world.
The web and social media has leveled the playing field somewhat, making it possible for lesser known places like Reunion Island to take advantage of new trends in consumer behaviour and digital marketing to compete with long established and well known traditional destinations.
"Word of mouth through social media is now the most powerful tool for any destination marketer today." - Destinate
The campaign will allow the bloggers the opportunity to explore the destination in a totally new way – living amongst and like locals-in-the-know for a few days.
#GoToReunion will be hosted in association with iambassadors who worked with Destinate on the recent and very successful blogger campaign for Stellenbosch, #Stellenblog. #Stellenblog, which ran from 2-9 May generated more than 42 million online impressions worldwide, with a PR value exceeding $880 000 (more than R9 million) to date.
Meet the Bloggers
Local Host: Yann Macherez
National Geographic Channel Adventure Ambassador, Yann Macherez, will - in his capacity as a Reunion native - lead the bloggers through their trip to ensure they have access to insider knowledge and maximum adventure. He is a renowned photographer and has worked with South African Tourism on a recent campaign.
South African Travel Platforms
Two top South African travel influencer platforms - Getaway Magazine and News24Travel - will be coming along to take their online communities and readers on a journey of discovery.
Kati Auld - Getaway
Selene Brophy - News24 Travel
Editor for News24 Travel. Follow Selene or her journey:
South African Bloggers
Meruschka Govender - Mzansigirl.com
Meruschka been named one of South Africa’s top travel bloggers. Follow along with her at:
Natalie Roos - Destinate, also writing as Tailsofamermaid
Natalie Roos is well-known travel and lifestyle blogger based in Cape Town. Follow along with her at:
Three international bloggers from the USA, Brazil and Netherlands (covering both traditional and new markets) – will join the trip, along with a top videographer based in the USA.
Keith Jenkins - Velvet Escape
Founder/Publisher of the Velvet Escape luxury travel blog, Keith is inspired by travel, nature, people, music, sports, architecture, airplanes and photography. Follow him at:
Matthew Karsten - Expert Vagabond
Addicted to adventure travel and photography, Matt has been on a mission to inspire your next journey with entertaining stories, beautiful images, and useful travel tips from around the world. Follow along here:
Priscila Reis Magalhaes - Voali
A Brazilian lawyer who fell in love with the world and decided to give up on the career of corporate law to become a professional blogger. Follow her as she goes to Reunion:
Matthew Ryan Brown
A freelance director, cinematographer, and editor, Ryan creates emotional and imaginative pieces, whether it is films/docs, music videos, commercials, or museum installations. Follow him:
Follow the hashtag #gotoreunion and travel along to be inspired to book your own trip to Reunion Island.
For more on Reunion Island
Like Reunion Island on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReunionTourisme
Be inspired by Reunion Island on Instagram: www.instagram.com/ReunionTourisme
Follow Reunion Island on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ReunionTourisme