Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why are bloggers important to the travel industry?

Destination marketers are increasingly courting bloggers to provide immediate, in-depth and influential coverage.

I was asked by the NTA to answer three questions about travel blogging for their newsletter. My task was to explain the importance of blogger outreach and to clarify what bloggers are looking for when they visit a destination.

I accepted without hesitation. The NTA is the leading association for travel professionals in North America and their newsletter reaches a wide and influential audience.

Check out my "3Q" answers-- and share your opinion of blogger outreach by leaving a comment below!

>> Click here to read the short "3 Questions" feature:

Can a Blogger Help Your Destination? 3Qs with Leslie Koch

>> Click here to read the full Q&A, including tips for reaching bloggers on Twitter:

Finding a Travel Blogger for Your Destination



Thursday, April 21, 2011

US Travel Leaders Head to Egypt and Jordan on "Restoring the Journey" Tour

Is it safe to travel to Egypt and Jordan? Travelers aren't so sure, and tourism is down significantly in the Middle East.

The presidents of leading US-based travel associations are heading to the region tomorrow for a six-day trip. Sponsored by the tourism ministries of Egypt and Jordan, the “Restoring the Journey” trip is both a fact-finding mission and a way for the U.S. travel industry to show its support for Middle East tourism.

I will be joining the leaders of the USTOA, NTA, ATTA and ASTA on this tour and will be providing live coverage on Downtown Traveler's Twitter and Facebook pages.

For more information, read the full post here:
"Is it safe to travel to Egypt and Jordan? US tourism leaders to investigate"

Photo courtesy of Visit Jordan
Follow Downtown Traveler on Twitter and Facebook for continued coverage of the “Restoring the Journey” trip.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Huffington Post review of NYC's indoor pop-up park

New Yorkers have one more day to visit the Openhouse Gallery pop-up park. The chirping birds, green grass and trees may be artificial, but this is the closest you'll get to the real thing until springtime! Click on my Huffington Post article to learn more about the park:

You might also enjoy these stories:

Locavore alert: ‘Farm City’ launches food events in Brooklyn
‘Brooklyn Utopias: Farm City’ raises awareness of urban agriculture
NYC artist Tattfoo Tan turns compost into art at Chelsea's Arario Gallery (photos)



Friday, January 21, 2011

"Meet the Local Expert" debuts on Downtown Traveler

Aruba expert Keirsin Tjon Pian Gi
During my round the world trip, I often found myself in cities where I didn't know a soul. I was eager to get out and explore but I wasn't sure where to go. Guide books pinpointed the tourist boutiques and theme restaurants, but didn't include the hottest bars or latest attractions. 

I discovered that the best advice comes from locals who know their hometowns inside and out. As a result, we're launching a new feature on Downtown Traveler called Meet the Local Expert.

We'll interview travelers and members of the tourism industry to uncover their insider tips.

The first "local expert" is Keirsin Tjon Pian Gi of the Aruba Marriott resort. She shares her knowledge of Aruba's food, music and attractions-- and reveals that she will be dancing in the 2011 carnival parade!

Click here to read the first installment of Meet the Local Expert:

>> Meet the Local Expert: Interview with Aruba Marriott’s social media specialist


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm a featured blogger on

Yesterday marked my first day as a featured blogger for, a travel website offering flights, hotels, and packages to top destinations throughout the world.

Check out my first post, "How to Get the Most Value from NYC Restaurant Week."

I will be contributing travel stories on a regular basis, including news reports, top 5 lists and service pieces.

Are there any topics you would like to see featured in my column?  Feel free to contact me with suggestions!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lifetime Digital publishes my quiz, "Which Celeb Dad Is Like Your Man?"

It's official: I can now add "quiz writer" to my list of accomplishments! Lifetime Digital just published my first celebrity quiz, one of several I wrote on assignment for the website.

If you've ever wondered "which celeb dad is like my man?" this is the perfect time to find out!

I enjoy writing quizzes because they unleash my creativity.  I've always been a pop culture junkie; I grew up watching TV from the moment I got home from school until I went to bed.  I'd tune in to Thundercats, Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff, followed by Oprah, Three's Company, Diff'rent Strokes and Cheers.

Now I watch several movies and TV shows each week on Netflix. I recently rewatched a season of ALF on DVD and can report that most of the jokes hold up over time. (My recent picks also include heavier fare like Bad Lieutenant and Mean Streets).

I call upon my years of TV and movie experience when writing a quiz. Once I develop a topic, I research the characters or actors and brainstorm potential questions. I try to make the choices as juicy as possible.

But you be the judge. What do you think of my latest assignment?

>> Take the quiz: "Which Celeb Dad Is Like Your Man?"


Thursday, January 13, 2011

My first video post: Free activities in Salt Lake City

I spent the first week of 2011 skiing and sledding in Salt Lake City. While I missed New York's epic "Snowmageddon" storm, I saw plenty of snow in Utah.

Check out my first video post to see what free winter activities are available in the Beehive State.  This video appeared on Downtown Traveler and was filmed with Kodak PlaySport and Canon PowerShot Elph cameras.

>> For more photos of Utah's famous powder, check out my latest post: "A perfect ski day at The Canyons Resort in Park City"

>> Follow Downtown Traveler on Twitter and Facebook.