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Look at region through the eyes of visitors

Register • Jul 13, 2014 at 9:50 PM

I come from the PR world of stuffing envelopes with press releases and glossy black and white photos. Anyone who knows me would say I’m more of a “blah blah” than a blogger.


So when we hosted nine travel bloggers recently, I tagged along to learn from them.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term “blogger” it refers to someone who keeps a web log or personal account of their experiences/ thoughts. These blogs can be travel related, family focused, basically anything under the sun.

Selecting a group of these individuals pays dividends for our area because their bread and butter is relaying their experiences as they happen through social media outlets such as FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, and a slew of others. While it could be using beautiful photos, short quips or longer stories, potential visitors love to hear about a location on their bucket list from somebody they can identify with.

Think of it as a word-of-mouth recommendation rather than a review, where people following along can ask questions and engage in the experience remotely. And the spectacular thing about bloggers is that while they may focus on a specific part of the country such as the midwest, their potential reach is infinite and continuous.

Our adventure group on this particular trip was quite diverse. Some hailing from Michigan, some from Ohio and one from New York. Some covering family travel and food, some covering backpacking and solo travel.

Throughout the course of the trip we dotted every corner of the Lake Erie Shores & Island’s map, riding roller coasters at Cedar Point, kayaking through the limestone cliffs of Put-in-Bay, and chasing history in circles at the Merry-go-Round Museum. All of this while sampling the most unique cuisine the area serves up on a plate. You name it, we did it.

While it’s only been two weeks since the conclusion of our blogger adventure, piles of positive stories and reactions are pouring out across the web with all of them having the same thesis: The Lake Erie Shores & Islands is not only a top vacation destination, but a place one must go.

Whether it’s a group of smiles in front the Millennium Force, a unique historical account of the lighthouses around the area, or why Sandusky is a place that will treat your taste buds right, it’s clear that this group of bloggers now has at least one thing in common besides writing. They’ll be back and they’ll tell everyone else to do the same.

On a personal note, looking back I’ve realized it’s quite a thing playing tour guide for an area that you hold so close to your heart. Everything that you may take for granted on a daily basis becomes interesting again. The food becomes tastier. The sunsets become more colorful. The thrills become more exciting. And while I’ve always known we live in the best place in the country, it’s even more evident now.

Just glad I could share.

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