Travel Trends – Utah’s Snow Spots, Twitter Research!, Online Travel Growth

Utah’s Snow Spots – Winter is my favorite season.  So, needless to say, I have been intrigued by the new Utah Office of Tourism spots highlighting their claim to great snow.  And, after seeing one of the spots on Eric Hoffman’s Resort Marketing blog, I did a little research.  A couple searches later, I found the ‘Greatest Snow on Earth’ YouTube channel, with all of the new commercials.  Congrats to Utah for using YouTube to begin distributing this content.  The only way any of your content or marketing materials will go ‘viral’ is if they are on a ‘viral’ site such as YouTube.  A very similar theory to the popular, ‘you have to play the lottery to win the lottery’ assumption.  Ah, words of wisdom.

My favorite video so far:
(Reading via email? Watch the video here)



Which brings about another conversation on the spot itself.  In this case, Utah has decided to refrain from focusing on scenic shots of skiers or snowboards (for the most part), resorts, spas or sleigh rides and focus on what they believe is there differentiating factor from other destinations such as Colorado or Lake Tahoe, the quality and amount of snow.  It is a conversation that I have both internally and with other peers in the travel industry, do you show the expected scenic or attempt to convey your message via other, unexpected visuals.

For me, the spot works, but I already count Utah as my ski destination.  What do you think, do the new series of spots make you want to, or at least think about, traveling to Utah for your ski vacation?  Let us know in the comments section.

Update: Great comment from our friend Moto on the creation of the campaign as well as the campaign site.  Check out the comments section for more.

Brand Perception on Twitter – We have talked a lot about Twitter in the recent months.  So much, that many of you are probably skipping this post.  However, we do have some new research that begins to paint a basic, but helpful picture of how brands on perceived on Twitter.  Credit to @warrenss and @researchguy for compelling the survey.  Highlights include:

  1. Not surprisingly users Agree or Strongly Agree that brands should engage their customers on Twitter.
  2. The majority also have a better impression of brands that use Twitter for customer service.
  3. Proper use of Twitter however is paramount as almost 90% of users would frown upon poor or inappropriate brand use of Twitter.
  4. Influencers: More than 70% of respondents have 100+ followers and almost 50% of respondents have posted more than 1,000 Tweets since they signed up for the service.

Read the full results, including some demographic data on the Know What’s Next blog.

How Much Will Online Travel Slow? – Stats from PhoCusWright via eMarketer on the online travel industry:

Online travel bookings will total $98.2 billion in 2008, up just 9% over 2007, according to PhoCusWright. The company said that some online travel providers would fare better than others, with rail sales growing by 28%, while hotel bookings would rise only 8%.

If the numbers prove true, this will be the first year of mere single-digit growth for US online leisure/unmanaged business travel. However, online growth will still be twice as high as that of the total travel market.

PhoCusWright said that reasons for online’s continued success included consumer comfort with online purchasing, perception of the Web as having the lowest prices and supplier disincentives for booking through other channels. The company also said sales from leisure/unmanaged business travel sites will represent 36% of the total market in 2008, up from 34% in 2007.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.