Future of Travel Journalism

by Ming Han Lim

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  1. Traveling across the globe have been an essential part of everyone's lives. As journalism evolve, travel writing is now able to reach a whole new audience. From social media platforms to the traditional print articles, everyone young or old can now receive information about places of interest around the world. Social Media has helped bridged the gap between a person and the world. 'The World is now in our hands'. Need help figuring out a country's geographical position? Need to find out the best local food in a certain country? Want to learn more about the country's culture before visiting? Just type in a few words in Google or use a unique hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, you will be able to find articles and images which could satisfy your doubts.
    As technology further improves the world, it will have an impact on travel journalism. In this article, we will be looking into the possibility of the future of travel journalism and how it will affect people's lives.
     
  2. TRAVEL BEFORE ARRIVAL 

  3. ORBIT is a new media platform introduced to help people plan their vacations. Unlike other travel sites which most holidaymakers use now, ORBIT offers so much more. Apart from having suggestions of places of interests, accommodations and the best food in town, ORBIT also includes on the go updates and the latest news of the country you are about to visit. These includes getting on the go crowd and traffic updates. You will never have to arrive at an attraction and jostle your way through and no more sixty minutes jam when you know which highway to avoid. 
  4.                                                                    Journalists trying out the ORBIT platform
  5. ORBIT sets itself apart from the rest by launching interactive 3D videos which gives us an overview of different countries. This allows consumers to discover and experience a nation of their choice before deciding to go ahead with their holiday plan. ORBIT has already shot videos for 'The Top 20 Most Popular Cities In The World To Visit In 2014' according to Forbes. The video below shows how the video on ORBIT would be like. However on ORBIT, the 3D technology would allow the consumer to be in the picture with the host. At the end of the video, the consumer will be directed to a new channel where they will be able to speak to a local customer service provider. ORBIT have assembled a team of locals in each of the cities where the videos are shot. Thus, consumers are able to direct any questions they might have to the provider. 
  6. This is the city I study in: Brisbane, Australia
  7. BOOSTING GLOBAL ECONOMY

  8. Globalisation makes the world a smaller place .With ORBIT, it brings the world into a person's bedroom. Videos produced by ORBIT are made to support local establishments. Cafes, restaurants and hotels featured in ORBIT are local business. This not only allows consumer to experience the authentic flavour of a certain city, but also allows the establishments to gain global exposure which may in turn lead to booming business. 
    Emerging social values like the constant need to feel connected, communicate and be the first to own and use certain technology leads us to believe that sales of technology equipments which supports 3D, will see an increase in revenue.

    HOW WILL ORBIT AFFECT THE ROLES OF JOURNALISTS ?

    The roles of a travel journalist would be very different. Since consumers are able to question and give feedback more easily, the journalist must be constantly on media so that they can respond to the queries at the fastest rate. There will be more interaction with the consumers including face-to-face with the help of 3D technology. This allows the journalists to connect and identity with the consumers better, which could probably lead to better content being produced. Journalists would also become public figure and 'celebrities' in their own right as they are now exposed to people and they would be recognised for more than just their name.
    There is no need for pen and paper anymore as travel journalism will shift to video form and everything will be online.  A travel journalist must keep up to date with every single trend and technology so as to remain relevant. The job will encompass much more than before. Journalists will need to learn how to produce, shoot and be a host in the videos so as to remain competitive and keep their job. 
  9.                                                                       Travel journalists in the future

    Journalists need not be part of a big reputable company. As ORBIT goes global, it aims to recruit locals from the country to shoot videos for the cities they are from. It allows for a more 'homey' touch to the videos made. Journalists will then be able to do their jobs more easily. They will be able to use 3D technology to interact with follow counterparts from other nation if they have to verify certain information. Thus, being a travel journalist in the future might not require most travel. 

  10. ORBIT, A LEADER OF TRAVEL ?

    Verdict : Possibly. 
    ORBIT is a new platform hence it is relatively popular with users. We have to see if it retains the number of users it have now in a couple of years. With the ever-changing technology industry, it is unpredictable.  As consumers are constantly seeking to be part of media, it may work against ORBIT. As users all want to have a say in media they participate, this gives rise in citizen journalism. Travel journalism is different from politics and current affairs, consumers are not as concerned about the authenticity of the information. People can get information from friends on Facebook and Instagram easily. With that being said, it means that people need not use ORBIT as their platform for travel suggestions which is why predicting if ORBIT will be successful takes a few years. Thus, it is possible that the travel journalism industry will just continue as usual with the current print and online journalism. 

    There are also other factors preventing ORBIT from being a success. First, nostalgia. Conventional travel journalism have started from print and is still going strong. Travel magazines and newspaper are where most people get information from. Online journalism have been gaining popularity, however not everyone is on board quite yet. The older generation is not as receptive to new channels of information like the younger generations which is why magazines and newspaper are still in production. Even though the young consumers like to keep on trend, they also jump onto another bandwagon as quick. Thus, time is needed for ORBIT to build it's reputation.
    As a company, ORBIT needs to make money to be able to continue doing what they do. A dominant image of the future might be detrimental. Currently, ORBIT loses potential revenue from global companies which would pay to have advertisements place subtly in the videos. If the owners of ORBIT takes the company commercial, ORBIT will lose it's vision of introducing local businesses to people. This might cause the company to lose loyal followers who believe in their current vision.
    As technology like ORBIT allows people to have access to information easily, there seem to be no need for traditional travel journalists anymore. It is only human nature that journalist feel redundant and a career as a travel journalist might not be as lucrative as before. Without passionate people for the job, the whole online platform for travel sites would not even function. 

    So, would the future of travel journalism be innovative or remain the same ? Only time would tell. 


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