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July 10, 2012

Getaway travel blog conference – guest speakers

Photo courtesy DanieVDM

There are, according to the saying, many ways to skin a cat, although why anyone would want to take that literally is clearly beyond my mental capabilities. There are also many ways to write a blog and an inordinate amount of topics to keep your fingers happily punching away at the keys on a keyboard.

A few of the Mother City locals have been lacing words together on fashion, art, lifestyle, food, wine, and, of course, travel and in August they will welcome a few of the world’s premier travel bloggers for a little more inspiration.

Saturday, August 4 2012, will see Cape Town’s travel bloggers ferociously devour information provided by local and international blogosphere experts at the Getaway Travel Blog Conference at the Upper Eastside Hotel in Cape Town, in partnership with Cape Town Tourism.

Says Landlopers founder and one of this year’s guest speakers, Matt Long (@Landlopers), “The conference is especially exciting in that travel blogging is gaining popularity around the world and I can’t wait to read the websites reflecting a multitude of backgrounds around the world.

“That’s one of the great things about travel blogs. Yes, we learn about new destinations, but we do so through the eyes of an individual who is passionate about sharing their experiences. I think that’s exciting.”

This year’s other guest speakers include Keith Jenkins of Velvet Escape, Nellie Huang from Wild Junket and Melvin Böcher of Traveldudes. They will cover a range of topics from sponsored blogging and selling advertising, leveraging social media channels, writing to drive traffic and the ways in which travel bloggers are changing the media landscape.

Launching Landlopers in 2010, Matt used his experience as a communications writer to put him on an exciting path, which has seen him cultivate his love of adventure travel into a full-time profession.

This will be Matt’s first visit to Cape Town and South Africa. “I can’t wait to meet Cape Town for the first time and explore areas about which I have heard so much. I want to see the most famous sites, but I also hope to get to know the city on a more personal level – finding out of the way cafes and quiet corners, that’s how I like to get to know a new city.”

Founder of Traveldudes Melvin Böcher (@traveldudes) has, however, visited Cape Town before but is excited at the thought of returning to the Mother City. “I was in Cape Town many years ago and I’m so much looking forward to come back and meet fellow South African travel bloggers,” he said.

Traveldudes is a website that aims to help travellers have the best travel experiences they can by posting advice from those who have already made the journey.  The website is, as it states, “For travellers, by travellers”, and since he started the English version of Traveldudes in January 2009, the community of travellers who post to the site has increased drastically.

A professional travel writer and editor, Nellie Huang’s (@wildjunket) work has been published in various publications, including amongst others CNN Go, National Geographic Intelligent Travel and TNT magazine.

In 2008, she co-founded Wild Junket, which focuses on adventure travel and advocates slow travel. Having visited South Africa in 2011, Nellie’s Cape Town leg was spent paragliding off Lion’s Head, shark cage diving in Gaansbaai and exploring beaches from Camps Bay to Simon’s Town.

Says Nellie of Cape Town in her photo blog, “This is one of the most attractive cities I’ve ever been: a funky, urban metropolis lined by windswept blue bays and backed by outrageously stunning mountain ranges… it has everything that I want packed into one city: mountains, beaches and urban life.”

In 2008, Keith Jenkins (@velvetescape),decided to leave his 10-year banking career and forge a new career, as a travel writer. People across 160 countries read the Velvet Escape blog and each month it receives approximately 170 000 page views.

Keith has blogged extensively about South Africa and, especially, Cape Town covering places such as the Cape Winelands, Cederberg Mountains, the Cape Peninsula and the Western cape’s marine life. He will discuss the ways in which travel bloggers are changing the media landscape.

They will be joined by local blogging experts, including Andrew Brauteseth (@guy_with_camera) from Cape Town photography blog Guy with Camera.

For more information, contact Sarah Duff on +27 (0)21 530 3262, email getawayevents@getaway.co.za or visit www.conference.getaway.co.za.

Getaway magazine is giving away two tickets, worth R750 each, to the 2012 Getaway Travel Blog Conference. For a chance to win a ticket, visit competitions.getaway.co.za.

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