Travel Trends – Google Maps, Twitter, Orlando, Shoofly Pie

Google Maps Hits The Trail – Google is taking it’s popular ‘Street View’ feature off-road and onto the nation’s expansive system of biking and hiking trails.  Which, in a location like Denver, is going to take them a while.

From the article:

Now Google Maps is expanding to biking and hiking trails. A Google employee on a tricycle rides around to snap the same wide-area views.

“Much of the world is inaccessible to the car,” says Daniel Ratner, a Google senior engineer who designed the trike. “We want to get access to places people find important.”

Clearly, for destinations with scenic and popular trails…California, Oregon, Colorado, etc…the introduction of a Trail View feature on some of these routes will help further promote the area to potential visitors.  Although, I am not sure walking a trail via your computer is the same as being there.

Twitter Begins To Roll Out The ‘What’s Next’ – Earlier today Twitter (you remember them, right?) added a ‘Verified’ feature to several key profiles, think celebrities, well-known writers, organizations.  The new ‘Verified’ icon appears at the top of the user’s profile and allows potential friends to verify that they really are following @oprah.  But, before you start emailing Twitter about adding the verified stamp to your organizations account, you should know that Twitter is simply beta testing the feature with a few key profiles…read, celebrities.  However, this is the first step in Twitter’s long rumored plan to create structured categories and accounts for users.  Trust us, the ‘verified business’ account is not far behind.

Orlando Launches a New Promo…Sort Of – Ah, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  The Orlando CVB has recently launched a new campaign entitled ’67 Days of Smiles’ in which the tourist capital of the world is looking for a couple to ‘experience everything from roller coaster riding to hang gliding, swimming with dolphins, golfing, shopping, spa-ing, gator wrestling, museum exploring, theatre-going and more.‘  Kudos to Orlando for starting this campaign, at the very least they should (hopefully) receive a good amount of UGC for future use.  But something in the promo seems very familiar.

Pennsylvania Takes You on a Journey Across the Keystone State – In true PA / Red Tettemer fashion, the Keystone State has launched another travel campaign that pushes the boundaries of what most think of as a tourism marketing promotion.  I would try to describe it to you, but it is really easier if you watch an episode or two.

From the article:

The 26-minute, four-episode film series features a twenty-something man who follows his heart across Pennsylvania in search of his long-lost, pre-adolescent love, a waitress named Meg who once served him a memorable slice of Shoofly Pie.

Fun, unique, quirky, with some decent, promo-specific music (yeah, they wrote music for the videos) the campaign certainly stands apart from any other tourism promo you will see this summer.  Equally important, the writing and story behind the shorts is interesting…clearly not the first time this agency has produced short video content, and it shows.  While writing a script seems easy, it is clear that experience is needed to produce a quality story such as this one.  Now, will anyone watch?

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