Q & A with a Visit.org Ambassador: Lourdes Chuquipiondo
Lourdes Chuquipiondo, from Peru, is the founder of placeOK blog and one of our ambassadors. Let’s meet her!
When did the blog start, and how?
We launched it in February 2013. We had the idea during a trip to Argentina to celebrate my sister’s 15th birthday. Walking through the Mar del Plata streets, my sister Nicola and I realised it was difficult to find recommendations about authentic places, only for locals.
So Nicola and I founded the placeOK blog. We started with recommendations about restaurants and destinations. The blog evolved, and now we also recommend products and touristic services. Our blog is not just about trips, but tourism. We attend some important events and we want to focus on sustainable tourism because of our responsibility as human beings on this planet.
Is is a full time job now?
After three months we realized we had a lot of visits per month. We were surprised because we had not invested in ads, so we knew that our success greatly due to our audience.
In 2015 FITUR (International Tourism Trade Fair) awarded us the best “Travel blog with better content in Peru”. Then we became Visit.org ambassadors. Nicole is still studying in University, so she works part time for placeOK. But I’m full time.
Unfortunately, in Latin America being a professional blogger is not appreciated, so it’s difficult to make a living from it. In our case, we developed placeOK Studio, which gathers international travel bloggers and social media to develop promotional destination campaigns.
We also offer technological services, such as emailing and web development for touristic companies, and also online media coverage for travel events.
How do you promote Peru as a destination?
We launched two campaigns. The first one was #HuachoMilenario. We had the support of touristic entrepreneurs and the local government. The second one was a digital and TV campaign #ElTripOK, again with the support of touristic entrepreneurs from different regions, including Lima.
The Peruvian government has not supported any of our campaigns yet. This is something I would like to share with the orgs. We can not wait for the central government to develop specific promotional actions that benefit certain destinations. Organizations have to look for alliances with local companies and local governments to do so. Digital marketing is the key now because it’s cheaper and reaches to a wider audience.
Any favourite place outside Peru?
Difficult question! For Nicole it would be the Galapagos Islands, in Ecuador. For me, Buenos Aires, in Argentina.
You visited one of our orgs in Lima, Detonador. How was the experience?
A group of Visit.org ambassadors gathered and it was really nice. We discovered a group of artists trying to communicate what they do through different projects. For example, using huge bicycles, they strike people’s attention about the need of a different transportation system in the city. It was a real pleasure help to spread the voice about Detonador and what they do.