Travel Trends – Social Savior, Australia, iPad Usage

Florida ‘Saved’ by Social Media – Praise the lord and the pass the conch chowder, Florida has been saved by social media. Or so says the crack reporting team at Fortune magazine, via Now, we don’t have an issue with the use of social media by Visit Florida, in fact, we encouraged and recommended the same strategy.  Nope, our issue is the piece makes the campaign sound so easy.

I am certain that several of our destination peers read that piece and said, hey we can do that…throw up some Twitter links and a map. Done.  Not so much.  First, a lot more went into that campaign than just a few links, second, it seems a bit sensational to claim that social ‘saved’ Florida…that is your opinion, not news…and finally, every situation is different.  Yes, you will use social media for most disaster response situations, but not the exact model from Visit Florida.

So, let’s update that story title: Florida tourism engages skeptical tourists with social media.

Much better.

Australia Embraces Local Knowledge – Straight from the mind of Jim Brody, via his DMO newsletter…which, by the way, is the only other email/blog you should be reading…a look at the recent Tourism Australia campaign, which is a brilliant example of using local knowledge, or UGC, to promote your destination.

Australia is a very, very big country (technically it’s a continent).  So, when the marketers at Tourism Australia decided to create an entire initiative (and, yes, an entire website) around user generated content from those who have vacationed there endorsing the product, it seemed like an ambitious goal.  Yet, if you go to their website, you will see thousands of entries supporting hundreds of destinations scattered throughout the country.  And by honing the content contribution down to just one activity described with a paragraph and a photo – they also managed to define the broad variety of experiences you can have in a country that size.  And you can even enjoy their new jingle!  That’s online brand immersion at its finest.

iPad Usage – Guess what?  People like the iPad.  Sure it is expensive and you are still pouting that you don’t have one, but the signs are pointing to a positive future for the little computer that could.  While the stats are from the UK, they still show a clear preference for receiving content via digital devices.

Even more interesting for our destination brethren, the iPad is deepening the already fractured consumption of printed content, which will have an impact on your visitor guide distribution strategy.

The iPad was considered the No. 1 delivery method for newspapers and magazines, and its popularity for books was even greater: 41% of iPad owners preferred to read on the device, vs. 36% who liked hard copies better. iPads were also the top gaming device for owners of the tablets, beating out consoles by 2 percentage points.

Troy Thompson, a self-described technopologist, is a respected blogger, consultant and thought-leader in the Tourism / Travel industry. Owner and consultant at Travel 2.0 Consulting, Troy has been providing unique interactive and marketing solutions to a variety of clients for more than a decade.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.