Poster announcing the European travel bloggers' event in Marbella. / sur

Marbella to host convention bringing together Europe's most important travel bloggers

The Andalucía regional government is currently attending the Travel Blog Exchange American meeting in Washington, before hosting the event itself here in the south of Spain in June

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ

Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) is considered the most important event for bloggers and content creators in the travel industry. Andalucía's Ministry for Tourism, Regeneration, Justice and Local Administration has announced that Marbella will be hosting TBEX Europe in June.

Meanwhile this week the region is taking part in the TBEX America event in Washington. The ministry explained that the US event will act as a precursor for the European edition taking place in Marbella's congress centre from 6 to 9 June, with the slogan 'Home of travel creatives'.

Event organisers explained that the first TBEX was in 2009 in Chicago, Illinois, after Kim Mance sent an email to six travel blogger friends, suggesting that they meet to build networking connections, discuss the latest trends, and share strategies and ideas.

The goal was to become the best content creators they could be, growing their audiences and making more money through blogging. These six friends spread the word: 250 people turned up to the event and TBEX was born. Nowadays, between 500 and 700 of the most important travel and lifestyle creators from all over the world take part.

The Andalusian ministry's goal at the Washington event is to showcase southern Spain's main attractions to tourism professionals who specialise in creating content for different media, providing an interesting new way to promote the region.

“The convention includes talks, experience-sharing events and workshops. The TBEX community provides information for nearly 300 million travellers, so participation in this event is an opportunity to promote our destination," representatives from the ministry explained. They pointed out that, according to the latest figures, Spain is set to become the fourth most visited European destination by tourists from the US this year.

Some 80% of attendees are content creators, ranging from bloggers to vloggers to podcast hosts. The other 20% includes corporate travel agencies, tour operators, hoteliers, online agencies and marketing companies (all mainly American).

The Andalusian ministry explained its interest in the American market. “These are tourists with high purchasing power, high average spending and who come for long stays. The main reasons for American tourists to visit in Spain in 2021 were leisure and city visits, with shopping and culture being their main activities," it said.

The authority pointed out that Andalucía is the third most popular destination in Spain for North American tourists. In 2021, 148,368 travellers from the United States stayed in Andalusian hotels for a total of 379,024 overnight stays, with an average stay of 2.6 days.