In light of recent events, where a two-day summit was held to honour social media influencers, the local vloggers of Pakistan have shared their views on the situation. The summit was seemingly problematic for the general public, as it failed to include or celebrate any local social media influencers, and invited international vloggers like Trevor James, Rosie Gabrielle, Eva Zu Beck, Mark Weins, and others.
A lot of people took to social media to express their distaste over no local representation, and pointed how there was no point of a Pakistani summit to take place without the inclusion of Pakistani vloggers and influencers.
Sooooo, anyone else see a problem with this? Anyone? pic.twitter.com/UdAGVnNPG7
— Hira Qureshi (@hiraq36) April 3, 2019
Has someone actually broken down the audience of these all international travel bloggers in the conference? What countries are they from, what are the engagement levels? What actual impact they have in terms of people being 'influenced' into touring countries?
— Faizan. (@merabichrayaar) April 3, 2019
Had a look at profiles of those western 'travel influencers' Pakistan invited for Tourism Summit instead of Paki travel bloggers.
The comments and engagement on there are all Pakis in Pakistan. I mean…there's not a single reply by a Westerner saying they'd love to visit.
— Tony Khan (@marketingdude) April 3, 2019
However, a couple of famed local YouTubers also took to social media to let everyone know their perspective, which wasn’t in support of the outrage. Taimoor Salauddin, popularly known as Mooroo, believed that international vloggers are better off promoting tourism in Pakistan, and that it subsequently serves in the country’s best interest.
“International tourism can be better promoted by international vloggers, local vloggers love their country and love exploration, we don’t need support. We love Pakistan. If we end up promoting tourism, great! Let others come promote Pakistan. It’s in our interest,” he said.
Continuing his thoughts on Instagram, Mooroo went on to say that he is not interested in promoting tourism, and if it seems as such in his videos, then it is his secondary aim.
“Every day, people keep tagging me on Twitter that a travel expo is happening in which Pakistani tourism is being promoted and local vloggers aren’t invited. Instead, international content creators were,” he said. “I just want to clear this subject once and for all. I’m not interested in such events. The only reason I travel this country is because I love it and because I want to explore it. If the tourism is promoted by my videos, then that is my secondary aim. My primary aim is that I enjoy it on my own,” he explained.
He further added how there would be an inflow of international tourism if the government celebrated international vloggers, and that there is no need for jealousy and unnecessary hate.
“There are some Indians who follow me as well, but they really can’t visit Pakistan, given the current scenario. So, when the government invites international vloggers, who have an audience across the globe, there will be an influx of international tourism. It doesn’t really matter who promotes this country. Either it’ll be me or them. Why bring in unnecessary competition and jealousy?” he said.
Moreover, YouTuber Umer Khan, also known as UKhano, also expressed something along the same lines. “A lot of content creators, a lot of fans and followers became emotional about the summit giving a white-washed image of Pakistan. I didn’t become a content creator to seek validation from other people. I became one to inspire others to work towards the betterment of the country,” he said.
“Now, those who are disappointed and sad that they weren’t invited to the summit shouldn’t feel entitled to that in the first place. Because if you are working for the passion and love for your country, you shouldn’t really expect fame, money and fortune in return,” he further added.
As a closing thought, he mentioned how being a content creator is not about feeding your fragile ego, but about leaving a lasting impact instead.