Digital Influencers Convention & The Earthy Awards 2019, Sabah

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Kunwar Prithvi Singh Chauhan
Part time journalist, full-time observer. Editor-in-Chief at The Indian Wire. I cover updates related to business and startups., an Indian travel media company, recently collaborated with Sabah Tourism to organise Digital Influencers’ Convention and The Earthy Awards 2019 in the beautiful city of Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Malaysian state Sabah. This was the second edition of The Earthy Awards. The convention and the award ceremony took place on 27th & 28th June, 2019 at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort. It was co-hosted by Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB), Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), Malindo Air and Air Asia.

The major aim of this convention and award ceremony was to recognise and felicitate the merit of Indian digital travel influencers, along with putting Sabah on the forefront of tourism scene in India. Considering India is an upcoming big thing in international travel, the tourism board of Sabah and government of Malaysia are aiming to attract first time international travellers from India. The government of Malaysia has also announced a campaign, #VisitMalaysia2020, which aims to bring 20 Billion Ringgits in tourism in the country in 2020.

A total of 54 digital influencers, out of over 300 who had applied, were invited to be a part of a 4 day program, which included 2 days of exploration around Kota Kinabalu and 2 days of influencers convention.

Digital Influencers Convention

The 2 day convention, hosted by Kavea R Chaveli, saw a number of informative sessions by leading names in the digital and media industry, including Bobby Joshi (GoodShotz), Jessie Paul (Paul Writer), Dinesh Krishnan (The Hindu), Meera Muhunthan (Twitter) etc. Along with presentations from Sabah Tourism, Malaysian Tourism, Air Asia, Malindo Air & Shangri-La etc.

The Earthy Awards 2019

The award ceremony had 20 categories and the participants were asked to nominate themselves at the time of registering for the convention. All the applications were then judged by a panel which included Ramesh Srivats (Twitter Celebrity), Partha Sinha (Marketing personality), and Jessie Paul (Paul Writer), Bobby Joshi (GoodShotz), Dinesh Krishnan (The Hindu), and influential bloggers like Shivya Nath and Siddhartha Joshi.

The Earthy Awards 2019 Jury

At the beginning of the convention, there were 11 on-site award categories announced based on the real-time on ground activities of the influencers to create a buzz on the social media.

Below is a complete list of winners who were awarded on the evening of 28th June, at the Earthy Awards, 2019.

List of winners at The Earthy Awards 2019

  • Rising Star of the Year – Aakash Malhotra (Wander With Sky)
  • Travel Photographer of the year – Navaneeth Unnikrishnan
  • Best Instagrammer – Sunny Gala (Worthashott)
  • Travel Blogger of the year – Amrita Sen (Tale of 2 Backpackers)
  • Best Story (Culture) – Amrita Sen (Tale of 2 Backpackers)
  • Best Photo (Environment) – Veronica Gera
  • Best Photo (Food) – Deeba Rajpal (Passionate About Baking)
  • Best Photo (People) – Rakesh Pulapa
  • Best Story (Wildlife) – Jyotsna Ramani (Wander with Jo)
  • Best Photo-Story – KeertanaIyer (The Next Checkin)
  • Best Short Story on Travel – Ajay Sood (Travelure)
  • Best Travel Writer – Vijay Nagaraj Rao (IMVoyager)
  • Best Vlog – Priyanka Chandola (DesiTraveller Girl)
  • Best Youtuber – Priyanka Chandola (DesiTraveller Girl)
  • Caption Queen – Vandana Yadav (The Glowing Edge)
  • Best story on website – Khushboo Motihar (Munni of all Trades)
  • On-site Award for Overall event coverage – Deena Pinto (Skinny Girl Diariez)
  • On-site award for Best Story on Airline – Tushar Panchal (Bombayiger)
  • On-site Award for Best Food Picture – Rohan Khanna (Radio ka Rohan)
  • On-site Award for Best Story on a Tour Activity – Joshua Karthik
  • On-site Award for Best Post on Sabah – Sundeep Bhatia (Delhi Fundos)
  • On-site Award for Best Sunset Photo – Vikram Soni (The Vogue and Fit)
  • On-site Award for Best Photo at Rasa Ria – Veronica Gera
  • On-site Award for Best Caption Story on Sabah – Seema Wadhwa (Curiosity Cult)

There were a few categories, including SEO Champ & Best Story in Print, which did not have any winners as the jury felt that the applications received did not meet the standards.

Overall, the event was a success with participation from all the partners. The team at Travel.Earth, including Srinjay Sengupta & Arun Raghu (Founders), Anuja Prabhu, Shaifali Shrivastav & Sidharth Nair (Senior Managers) did a great job in putting up a good show to celebrate the digital influencers community of India. The event was concluded with a promise to meet in a bigger version, next year.


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