I have been impressed by the fact that the American citizen, Alex Reynolds (Lost With Purpose), was ready to « damage her business » for « telling the truth » in her video dated April 2019: « Why travel media is dangerous for Pakistan’s tourism ». More than one year after, I came to the conclusion this was not as simple and innocent as I initially believed. It resulted in a « splendid » but predatory marketing operation.
Preliminary legal notice
All quotes are documented with screen captures from Alex Reynolds, Sebastiaan Rijntjes and Will Hatton public posts.
Use of the public pictures from Alex Reynolds, Sebastiaan Rijntjes and Will Hatton:
« In many countries, certain uses of copyright-protected works do not infringe the copyright owner’s rights. For example, in the United States, copyright rights are limited by the doctrine of « fair use, » under which certain uses of copyrighted material for, but not limited to, criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research may be considered fair. U.S. judges determine whether a fair use defense is valid according to four factors, which are listed here for educational purposes. In some other countries, there is a similar concept called « fair dealing » that may be applied differently.« r.
A profitable bad buzz
Bad buzz can be an efficient promotion tool. It worked for Ms Alex Reynolds. Her video became viral, mostly thanks to people who opposed to it… It was seen more than 210,000 times. It got more than 4,500 comments. It promoted, « Lost with purpose », a rather insignificant Youtube channel, next to the top of Google search results about travel in Pakistan. It brought thousands of new subscribers. Look at the audience of her 13 other videos: a few thousands, if not less, views. It was probably not an accident. Alex Reynolds knows social media enough to understand what she was doing.
The staged censorship of Pakistan Tourism Summit (PTS) was a brilliant and profitable marketing operation. I leave open the question regarding the fact it was done on purpose, because it is too judgemental and because my concern is somewhere else, in actual facts. My concern is the cost of this marketing operation: the damage on local communities.
Not « telling the truth »
Because of subsequent evidences, nobody can believe, anymore, the truth Alex Reynolds is crediting herself with. Actually, she doesn’t only mention her actual personal experience as I credulously thought. Alex Reynolds proved she promotes second hand statements, when she does not refrain herself to share hate speech and unsupported rumours created by Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam, a malevolent person from Karachi, targeting a mountain ethnic and religious minority. Doing so, Ms Reynolds shows she does not care on how much she could harm local communities already in distress because of the COVID lockdown. She does not care about how unfair are her statements, about the fact that issuing these illegal defamation attacks would be condemned in the USA, her country, about the fact she violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
I developed this highly questionable behavior in a detailed paper: « Pakistan – Are Alex Reynolds & her travel blog « Lost With Purpose », fact based or reliable?« .
You will see Ms Reynolds used sophisms and troll technics to counter any call for discernment and fairness. You will be probably shocked by the insults, the slang words and the arrogance produced by Sebastiaan Rijntjes and Will Hatton, the male partners and watch-dogs, of the self-called « solo female traveler. » Their behaviors are miles away from the heroic, fragile, honest and compassionate image built thru an expert « window dressing. » This is actually, the backstage of Alex Reynolds business.
It was emphasized on « Lost with purpose » blog thru a May 2020 slandering update of an article about a Pakistan high valley. Please have a look to « A Guide to Chapursan Valley in Northern Pakistan – Answer to Alex Reynolds (Lost With Purpose) ».
Taking advantage of « Gora complex » in business making
Last but not least, mentioning the « Gora complex* » could be considered as ironical if not insulting while taking advantage of it and claiming more from it. Ms Reynolds has been invited to the tourism summit, as a VIP, because she was a Westerner. She did not bother about the fact that, coming there, she was taking a place which should have attributed to domestic travel operators. A foreign Travel Operator, selling tours in Pakistan, this is actually what Ms Reynolds is. Please see: « Hidden Hunza summer tour itinerary« ($2,750 x 12 = $33,000) . Even more disgraceful, Alex Reynolds claimed for more, arguing about the fact she did not get, in the tourism summit, the attention she should deserve. Additionally, instrumenting her female condition and her » brown skin » to make an audience believing she shares the condition of local people is not an honest method. It just allows this young lady to get the best of locals and foreigners advantages. Is this not, a colonial predatory approach? Will the efficient hate speech and bad buzz business model become Ms Alex Reynolds milk cow in the future?
Note: Gora complex* is a subcontinental term that means giving a preferential treatement to whites; chiefly Europeans, North Americans and Australians. It is different from inferiority complex in which you think your culture or society or country is inferior to others in some important respect.
It is time to reveal international Pakistani talents
In my opinion, Pakistan, being a country with more than 220 million of citizens, with many highly educated people, with numerous experienced travellers, has its own resources for promoting its tourism. It is time to get rid of foreign agents looking for their own interest, while ignoring the damages they could create to domestic communities. Pakistan is full of international artists, photographers and writers. Let’s us just mention the young and talentuous Gohar Abbas who, with his article « Heaven and hell », won in the category “Travel and tourism story of the year” at the Foreign Press Association (FPA) Media Awards (considered as Oscars of Journalism) in London.
Why are these people ignored? Does Islamabad want, thanks to foreign vloggers, Instagrammers and bloggers, to promote a devastating and spoiling Kaghan-Muree tourism model?
Bernard Grua, 2020/10/20
Alex Reynolds, granted a VIP status, with Pakistan Prime Minister at Pakistan Tourism Summit (PTS)
As we will observe below, the actual influencer rank of Ms Alex Reynolds is far below the one of the other media producers presented in this very small group. Such an acknowledgement should be questioned instead of being challenged as not rewarding enough under the false statement of censorship.
The actual rank of Ms Alex Reynolds is far below her competitors and even far below the one of other influencers who were not invited in PTS
Alex Reynolds, « Lost With Purpose », is at the 12th rank on Youtube, 5th rank on Instagram and 7th rank on Facebook about Pakistan travels (2020/03/04 figures). She is, then, a minor contributor. It is suprising to learn she was an important guest at the Pakistan Tourism Summit while many valued people, including Pakistani ones, have been ignored. It is surprising to be aware she was claiming for a greater VIP treatment as she explained in her bad buzz and profitable video. This shows how ego issues and arrogance can be dangerous for a country when sub-contracting its PR to foreign influencers.
Learn more about Alex Reynolds, her blog, Lost with purpose, and her unethical influencer methods
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The Alex Reynolds and « Chapursan Valley travel guide » case on Flickr
Alex Reynolds, Lost With Purpose
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