I’m sure i’m not the only one who’s fed the f*ck up with these ‘congrats, you qualified to host my really sh*t article with no pictures on your site free of charge’ type emails.  Urgh, just bore off with you awful attempt at sneaky link building.  Just because I’m a blogger doesn’t mean I’m here to be walked all over and taken advantage of.

So anyway, I get a lot of these crappy emails and it means that whenever I see an email from an advertiser or industry bod I’m already on the offensive, ready to fire out a sharp, witty email telling these people that what they want is just not happening … but then, every once in a while, something strange happens and I get an email from someone whos actually decent, a normal human being who is simply trying to build a relationship with you and your blog rather than just take advantage.

I’ll hold my hands up and admit I gave today’s interviewee a slightly hard time when we first made contact, its slightly embarrassing but I have now repented and come to very much like them and their work.  We even met for a drink at this years WTM.  My initial response was based on past experiences, but I’ve now come to realise that there are a few guys and girls out there.

Sorry that was a bit of a long intro, but have a read of the below and learn about someone within the industry who is out there and looking to make contact with bloggers and genuinely create a long term working relationship.


1. Name? Ryan Gibson

2. Home town? Leeds, UK

3. Employers? AsiaRooms part of the LateRooms Group.

4. Months/years in your job/the industry? 5 months. I’m a newbie J

5. Work Location? I work from home in Leeds but venture to the Singapore office twice yearly and the Manchester office bi weekly.

6. Personal website/blog? http://www.generationy.com

7. Personal Twitter Handle? @travelgurugibbo

8. Tell us a little bit about your job role. Best bits, worst bits and life outside of that role if you blog independently too etc.

I am Blogger engagement manager for AsiaRooms. My primary role when taking the job was to Own and execute an outreach programme focused on driving informal relationships with external influencers most predominantly travel bloggers. I’ve literally set this up from scratch and it’s developing into a really exciting project and I’ve met some awesome people along the way.

The best bits are that I class myself as a blogger too so I think I have a bit of an affinity with the bloggers which other people doing my role may not. I appreciate the work which goes into maintaining a blog so I like to build a strong relationship with a select number of bloggers as opposed to weak/fluffy relationships with many.

The worst bit is definitely managing the internal processes involved in the partnerships. Sometimes getting timings right can be hard and dealing with a traveller with intermittent Wifi can sometimes be tough,

Life outside my role consists of my Generation Y Working blog. Generation Y is a coined phrase to describe a generation born between 1980 and 1999 and their working habits. My blog basically looks at ways businesses can get the best of this generation. Flexible working hours, working from home, designing life around work and so forth are all discussed. The 4hr work week is not a realistic goal for us all. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing the ways we work and live our lives which makes the telling difference. My blog basically talks about been happy and not quitting a full time role.


9. First travel experience?

I think it was Bulgaria when I was 4. I actually went on holiday from really young but that’s the one I remember most. My Grandma and Granddad flew out to meet us. Was a huge surprise.

10. Future travel plans?

I have a potential East Coast of America road trip planned for next August. There’s a big event happening in August in my life you see. I’ll let you guess ;)

11. What 5 items would you not go travelling without?:

  • Vests (Love a vest),
  • swimming shorts
  • iphone
  • Aftersun
  • havaiana flip flops

12. What was your first job in the travel industry and how did you get the job?

This is actually my first job in the Travel industry. I came from a B2B organisation dealing in electronic components which is quite the opposite to this role. I’ve done B2B, done Agency and wanted B2C on my CV so this role was a huge attraction to me. I also love to travel (who doesn’t), I could build myself an awesome home office and really improve my skills. I got the job through the traditional method. I actually knew my manager previously which helped with the home working buy in but the role had to be applied for and I had to go through the interview process like other candidates.

13. Best bit of advice you can give readers of this piece looking to break into the industry?

This industry is all about relationship building. I also feel if you are already a Travel blogger/writer then you stand a great chance of breaking into the industry from a company perspective. It’s an overwhelming industry. I didn’t realise the scale/size of the travel sector until I visited WTM. My advice for any readers is to channel your passion online. If you love to travel, tell us about it. If you take photos; show us those visuals. If you build a blog and have a clear strategy to write for passion then opportunities will arise. Everybody strives towards the self sufficient, nomadic lifestyle which is awesome but there are so many amazing travel companies you could work for. Your blog is a personal showcase to these organisations and I promise you opportunities will arise. One of the main talking points in every interview I go into is my personal projects. Companies like passion and someone with an already vested interest in Travel has a great chance of success.

14. Best bit of advice you’ve personally received within the industry?

Now I’m not sucking up here but my manager always gives good advice which is why I entrust my career under his leadership. The best bit advice I ever received was

‘If you do not feel confident in your manager improving your career then you need to make changes’

and this is probably the best advice I’ve ever received. Managers are not just there as an enforcement to see whether you are working properly. They are also key in progressing people under their leadership. If they don’t do this then the company doesn’t move forward, the individual doesn’t move forward and ultimately the business stands still. The most important aspect of a manager is getting the best out of his/hers employees. If you can do that then that’s half the battle.‘If you do not feel confident in your manager improving your career then you need to make changes’

15. Worst?

‘You must stay in each role at least 2 years to look good on your CV’

Now I’m not advocating hopping from role to role but this advice is poor in my opinion. I’m all for rounded CV’s but you’ve got to make the right decisions for your career irrespective of the timings. There is no such thing as a good time. It doesn’t occur. Make the right decisions at the right time irrespective of how awkward the timing is.

16. What’s your dream job in the industry?

Owning a travel blog. You guys make all the money right? ;) (That’s a little joke by the way)


17. Favourite ice cream flavour? Chocolate or Toffee. AMAZING.

18. Apple or Andriod? Apple. Not that Android isn’t great just find simplicity of Apple appealing.

19. Blogger or WordPress? Easiest question in the world. Self hosted WordPress all the way.

20. Work from home or work in an office? Work from home.

21. Guilty pleasure? If I was younger I’d 100% want to be a member of One Direction.

22. Your chosen super-power? Intelligence. I’m a thinker.

23. Airplane seat – aisle, centre or window? Window.

24. What song/album are you listening to right now? Brother Ali – Mourning in America. I’m into indy hip hop and this album is brilliant.


25. Thank you for answering my questions, as a gesture of thanks I allow you one whole paragraph to shameless plug of your website …

I am obviously proud to be part of the newly launched AsiaRooms.com Community, a place where we love talking about anything and everything related to travel.

What can you find in our Community?

  • Travel guides – loads of handy tips and useful travel information on where to go and what to see
  • Blog – hotel reviews, destination features and top things to do around the world
  • Travel Photos – showing off our holiday snapshots and instagram food collection
  • Guest Articles – we’re always on the lookout for great travel writers, so if you’ve got an idea for a blog post, drop us an email at editor [at] asiarooms [dot] com

If you are interested or just fancy a glimpse of our team then head over to the community page. You will be very much welcome. http://www.asiarooms.com/en/community/