I was wandering through the jungles of Central America a couple of weeks ago and made the acquaintance of a travel photographer. He was in Costa Rica, working with an eco lodge managemnt comany on social media efforts. Basically he stays at the lodges and then places his experiences on travel forums, discussion boards, Facebook, etc, and links to his photos on Flickr. He’s not adding credibility to the posts with his name or the name of a publication, but his incredible photos and real-stories about the employees and guests of the lodges provide personaility and color to their social footprints.
photo by Martin van Doorn
I did ask him about his thoughts on whether or not there were any ethical considerations around thsi practice. The FTC requires full discolsure but the FTC doesn’t have any jurisdiction. The one thing he did point out, is that teh properties would still be paying for his stay if he was a freelance travel writer for traditional media.