New Delhi/Chandigarh: They are travellers, foodies, writers, lifestyle bloggers, amateur and professional photographers and filmmakers and more with a shared passion - travel and travel-related experiences. They have joined hands to popularise the unusual and unexplored India.
In a journey of just one year, the Travel Correspondents & Bloggers Group (TC&BG), comprising members pan-India, has aggregated over a million followers.
"What was a modest beginning by a couple of women travel writers a year ago has metamorphosed into a dynamic 400-strong community with a cumulative reach of more than a million followers today," Alka Kaushik, who along with Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu started the group, told IANS.
"In a span of 365 days, the Travel Correspondents & Bloggers Group has effectively bridged the gap between state tourism boards and promoters of new-age tourism and disseminated quality information," she said.
Members of the community share their experiences of the various programmes organized by the group, including trips to a number of destinations in Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in the past one year.
"Ever since we founded the group, we have organised a number of familiarization (FAM) trips to offbeat destinations in close coordination with private players and public entities on a no profit, no expense basis," travel enthusiast, author and blogger organised a number of familiarization (FAM) trips to offbeat destinations in close coordination with private players and public entities on a no profit, no expense basis," travel enthusiast, author and blogger Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu told IANS.
"This has resulted in an unimaginable amount of popularity for events, destinations, and individual efforts across varied media through the written word, delightful photographs and imaginative videos," she added.
The group now plans to convert its virtual property into print through publication of coffee table books and other mediums.
"We had a great opportunity to showcase the heritage arc of Uttar Pradesh to a group of TC&BG travel writers from all over India in Oct 2015," said Ram Pratap Singh, member of the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Promotion Board.
"During the last one year, Punjab Tourism partnered with the TC&BG to promote some of its destinations through two separate FAM trips. We are happy to note that this partnership is giving that extra thrust that Punjab Tourism needs and hope that it will yield even greater results in the future. Blogs and social media have become an important tool for promoting and marketing destinations," said Basanta Rajkumar, Executive Director, Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board.
"We have decided to focus on unexplored destinations and unsung events of our culturally rich and geographically vast country with a renewed commitment towards responsible, eco-friendly and educative tourism," Kaushik declared.