Why Switzerland Is Betting On Arab Gulf Bloggers

With 2.2 million followers on Instagram, Taim Al Falasi is one of the Arab Gulf’s most popular bloggers. In less than three years, the Emirati social-­media sensation — who has her own online radio program — has garnered more than 430,000 YouTube subscribers and nearly 100,000 Twitter followers. Her travel photos and video blogs regularly attract upwards of 30,000 likes each.

All that engagement was enough to get Switzerland's attention. The Geneva-based daily Le Temps reports on growing Swiss efforts to cater to a very bankable Arab clientele: Suisse Tourisme and Genève Tourisme agencies have both launched marketing strategies directed at high-end luxury travelers from the Gulf, by enrolling the help of Al-Falasi and other influential bloggers like Jordan-based adventurer Mohammad Lahhad or fashionistas such as Saudi Arabia's Lama Al-Akeel and Kuwait's Noha Nabil

The result? Pictures of Al-Falasi eating fondue in a fashionable hijab, and other Instagram posts and vlogs "a bit on the kitsch side, but easy on the eyes," writes Le Temps.

And the effort is already paying off, with a visible impact on the number of subscribers to Genève Tourisme's page, for instance, as well as on the number of followers of its Instagram account in Arabic.

[Photo: Taim Al Falasi via Instagram]