May 24, 2022, Tuesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Mt. Everest witnesses the world’s biggest Vlog challenge

The Nepal Weekly
February 8, 2022

With the spread of the internet and new technologies came great opportunities, but also great challenges. How do travel agencies, governmental tourism bodies etc. stay relevant when customers can very easily – for free – access a great deal of information themselves and compare alternatives through meta search and review sites.

How do they keep their jobs? Are their jobs still needed? Or do they need to create new jobs to stay relevant? A problem with change is that it’s hard to know what it around the corner, especially when it’s a big change. Vlogging is a new form of marketing, and as such there has been very little (if any) research done about their relevance as a tourist research method. This also makes it hard to know whether it’s something that is important for a destinations and businesses to develop. Is it a big risk with little reward? Or is it a small risk with potentially great reward? As businesses in general focus more on branding, products and services have tended to become more personalized, selling a lifestyle rather than a service or product.

Vlogging can be seen as a much more personalized form of marketing than running ads or promotions. The success of a Vlogger is much heavier emphasized on their personality, rather than the product content in the videos they deliver – in comparison to travel agencies, as they show their emotions and share their personal opinions. A notable thing for travel Vloggers is they also go to less discovered destinations, for example Georgia. When they market new destinations, those new destinations have more potential tourists coming there. This means that the competition for potential customers between destinations has been given a new platform. Because tourists sometimes change one destination for another, destinations need to maximize their efforts to retain their customers – and to generate new ones.

Travel vlogging is gaining popularity and studying the practice of travel vlogging can provide insights into tourist behaviour, communication, and management. The notion of practice was adopted as the theoretical base and the analytical framework. A qualitative approach was employed, including interviews with 12 strategically sampled vlogger tourists and analysis of their vlog productions. The findings suggested that travel vlogging is a practice bundle constructed by four sequential practices; designing, filming, editing, and posting. Through a collaborative relationship, the four practices achieve the shared meanings of self-concept expressions, a sense of documentation and ritual, and pleasures in vlogging. Moreover, travel vlogging affects tourist experiences; it creates a self-other divide, mediates the experiences of the ‘self’, and moderates the experiences of the ‘others’. Such impacts vary across the dimensions of travel stages, materiality, and engagement. Theoretically, the study offers fresh insights into the practice of vlogging and the creation of travel vlog content; pragmatically, understandings and implications for quality experiences of vlogger tourists are addressed.

World Vlog Challenge was organized in October 20 to November 5, 2021 at the base camp of Mt. Everest to raise awareness about the impact of climate change in the Himalayan Glaciers. Eleven vloggers from 6 countries trekked 10 days along the Khumbu region to take part in the biggest vlog challenge in the world.

 The main objective of this vlog challenge is to tell the stories of the melting glaciers through the lens of vloggers with millions of followers. These eleven vloggers from Colombia, India, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and the USA have total of over 38 million followers across the social media platforms.

The vloggers have produced 3-10 minutes long vlogs/films which will be published on @worldvlogchallenge’s social media platforms for voting. The top 5 videos selected from the public voting will be judged by the panel of jury members comprised of Director General of ICIMOD Dr.PemaGyamtsho, CEO of Nepal Tourism Board Dr.DhananjayaRegmi, Chief Public officer of US Embassy Mr. Garrett E. Wilkerson and President of Nepal Mountaineering Association Mr. Santa Bir Lama and representative from UNDP.

The 5 months long campaign will have the biggest “vlog challenge” prize in the world with US$ 50,000 for the winner while the runner ups will get US$ 30,000 and US$ 20,000 worth of prize. One of the biggest impact of global warming is seen in the Himalayas, the water tower of Asia and the largest deposit of ice after North and South poles; Hindu Kush Himalayan region is responsible for the vital rivers and affect the billions of lives across the region. The expedition was led by world renowned mountaineer Mr.Mingma David Sherpa and Coached by record 25 times Everest Summiteer Mr. Kami Rita Sherpa.

Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Elites and Unity for Sustainability, ICIMOD and US Embassy are the expedition partners for the vlogging programme.

World vlog challenge was organized by partynepal.com, which has been engaged in event management business and media campaign since 2003. The vloggers involved are:Juanes Velez (@_JuanesVelez: Colombia, Ashish Bhatia (@AshishBhatiaOfficial), SoumeshPandey (@CameraWaleBhaiya), VishakhaFulsunge (@RiderGirlVishakha, BiswasRai (@BiswasRai11), NeeshaKhaling (@KhalingPhoto), WilDasovich (@Wil_Dasovich), Nathan Bartling (@MyMateNate), WanlapaBartling (@Llukmee), Jared Steele (@MrSteeleFPV), and Kraig Adams (@KraigAdams): USA.

Nepal Tourism Board had organised an interaction programme was organised in Kathmandu on February 01, 2022 to meet the vloggers involved, experts, professionals and media to discuss on the  World’s biggest vlog challenge organized at Mt. Everest.