Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Assaffal P. Alian standing in the middle (seventh right) with Ken Pan (eighth right), chairman of Sabah Tourism; Datuk KL Tan (sixth left), president of MATTA Malaysia; Srinjay Sengupta (fifth left), Co-Founder of Travel Earth India with the rest of the sponsors during the launching of Digital Influencers’ Convention.

KOTA KINABALU: Digital Influencers’ Convention and Earthy Awards, organized and spearheaded by Travel.Earth, an Indian travel media company, started in Sabah yesterday.

The event saw a huge response since its first announcement. With over 300 applicants registering for the event, a select 54 have been chosen to attend the event.

These participants will  witness various aspects of Sabah and its local culture on two days of tours. This will be followed by two days of a convention with various sessions targeted at understanding digital platforms, influencer marketing and its benefits.

The audience will benefit from various presentations by speakers with immense experience in their respective fields.

Meera Muhunthan of Twitter will touch upon Millennials travel trends, habits and interests. Celebrated photographer Bobby Joshi will cover a session on the use of photography in influencer marketing.

Jessie Paul, well known in marketing circles, will enlighten the audience on how technology can help leverage marketing. Veteran photographer and current visual editor for The Hindu, Dinesh Krishnan, will share his experience in decades of visual editing to enable marketers to recognize good content.

There will also be panel discussions comprising of influencers themselves sharing their experiences and success stories. The various panel discussions will include a session on vlogging and understanding how to benefit from platforms like YouTube, a discussion between industry representatives and influencers on how they can collaborate with each other for mutual benefits and many more.

The second day will end with an Awards Night, where 31 different awards will be given to the most deserving candidates based on their work and their levels of influence.

Award winning anchor Kavea R Chaveli who is an avid traveler herself and has hosted more than 1,300 shows across the globe, will be hosting both the days of the convention as well as the Earthy Awards night.

The nomination rating and selection was done by an independent jury panel using Judgify, a tech partner for the Awards.

The event will be covered live on Travel Earth’s YouTube channel.

This event has been made possible with the effort of the Travel Earth team and support from partners such as Sabah Tourism Board, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, MATTA, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria, Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air and Make My Trip.

In his opening speech, Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Assaffal Alian said that the age of digital media has made social media influencers online “ambassadors” of tourism, one of the more effective means of promotion today.

With engaging content, these ambassadors leave influential testimonials for travellers worldwide, especially to the younger demographic, he said.

“I’m pleased to see so many interesting participants in Sabah’s first Digital Influencers Convention to connect, create inspiring travel content and share their expertise.

“We have influencers from various cities in India, namely Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, among others.

“As the second most populated country after China, India is projected to be the next outbound phenomenon for the travel market.

“In 2018, travellers from India made up 0.41 per cent of international arrivals to Sabah. There are already more than 200 flights between various cities in India to Kuala Lumpur, and we hope to leverage on this existing traffic.

“There is so much potential for us to tap into this market to further introduce Sabah to a new market segment, beyond weddings,” said Assaffal.

Sabah has a lot to offer, he added, such as climbing the famed Mount Kinabalu, jungle trekking in Tawau Hills Park, enjoying a wildlife river cruise along the Kinabatangan River, exploring local culture or diving in world-class sites like Sipadan Island, Layang-Layang Island and recently, Blue Ring Reef in Lahad Datu.

“There is so much to do and see in Sabah. Let’s make this event a launchpad to increase the awareness of Sabah as a travel destination to the Indian market. I genuinely believe Sabah has a lot of potential that can cater to different kinds of travellers,” he said.

[Source: “Biggest Digital Influencers’ Convention underway in Sabah” published by BorneoPost Online]

Photo Credits: BorneoPost Online

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