Travel industry taps into social networks | Oman Observer

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By Marie Julien — Tourism companies are turning to travel bloggers as a route into the vast global market of social network users, industry insiders say. At Berlin’s ITB tourism fair this week, bloggers and tourism professionals were brought together at a “speed dating” event to swap tips and further their cooperation in a highly competitive sector. Catharina Fischer, of the German Tourism Office, said blogging opened up an effective and inexpensive way “to generate content, do marketing on social networks, expand one’s presence, and all in different languages”. With the likelihood that a blogger will post YouTube videos or photos on Instagram to illustrate their post, it is easier to create a buzz on the Internet, via Twitter or Facebook, bloggers and companies say.

In today’s world of real-time news and constant information, blogging, where an individual writes online about their own experience, offers an immediacy that traditional media and guide books cannot. Marion Schumacher, of the Moevenpick hotel chain, also pointed out that a blog “is more subjective. It’s often a first-person account by the blogger from their own experience.” “Bloggers mostly post their blogs online before, during and after a trip” which then remain on the Internet to be read time and again, explained Anja Beckmann, of specialist communication agency Red Mod. The guidelines on collaboration between bloggers and the travel industry still vary and have not been formalised — some bloggers plainly state when a trip is financed by a travel company, while others do not.

Angelika Schwaff, a former head of international communication for an airline, launched her blog “Reisefreunde” (“Travelfriends”) because she was always having to search back through business cards when asked for hotel or restaurant recommendations. After around a year, her blog had attracted thousands of readers, and in 2012 she decided to leave her job and become a professional travel blogger —  still a privilege for the very few — and consultant. Today she says that 99 per cent of her trips are down to partnerships with the travel industry but insists she retains her independence and always makes clear in her blog who has financed what. “Even if they (partners) invite you on a trip, I make it very clear at the beginning in my letter of intent ‘you don’t buy my opinion’,” she said. But for travel-lovers, blogging is a good way to fund their passion if they strike deals to get the travel or accommodation costs covered or are paid to provide photos or videos that can be used by the partner company.

via Travel industry taps into social networks | Oman Observer.

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London & Partners creates travel incubator to help discover ‘next Airbnb’ | Marketing Magazine

London & Partners, the promotional agency for London, has partnered with social enterprise The Trampery to launch a travel incubator this spring.

The aim of the incubator is to find “the next Skyscanner or Airbnb” by making London the number-one city for travel tech start-ups

Airbnb logo

Airbnb logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

London & Partners will provide network support to start-ups in addition to a shared workspace via The Trampery, a company that provides places to work for entrepreneurs.

Start-ups will have access to travel industry executives, investors and mentors at the ‘Traveltech Lab’ incubator space.

Gordon Innes, chief executive of London & Partners, said: “We not only have the incubator space they need, we have over 1,000 partners in the travel, leisure and hospitality industry, a wealth of high-level connections and a deep knowledge of the sector.”

The Trampery will help with the remodelling of London & Partners’ existing office at More London, a development near Tower Bridge, to provide workspace for a team of experts alongside entrepreneurial travel, tourism and hospitality start-ups.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said:  ‘‘More and more technology companies are sprouting up and thriving in London.

Image representing Skyscanner as depicted in C...

“As the world’s greatest city to visit and as Europe’s foremost digital hub, we can offer this innovative incubator an ideal home to nurture creative talent and for tech whizz kids to flourish.”

via London & Partners creates travel incubator to help discover ‘next Airbnb’ | Marketing Magazine.

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Place-based messaging could give travel marketers an advantage

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There’s a new place-based messaging app in town, and it could be the bleeding edge that certain brave travel marketers embrace.

Flyby Media allows users to send messages to each other using real-world objects as triggers. The company’s taglines are “Start Messaging in Real Life” and “Activate Your Real Life Objects,” highlighting just how the service is positioning itself as the arbiter of multimedia tagged to physical objects.

The service underscores the potential power of Google’s Project Tango, which recently opened up vast new possibilities for using 3D sensors and visual imaging for the next generation of phones.

Interestingly, the app is currently only available on iPhone 5 and 5s, with Samsung Galaxy S5 support coming soon. These are the only phones that currently support the framerates required to leverage the real-time imaging.

Flyby is one of the first consumer application to leverage this imaging tech, and is idling on a $10 million runway.

While Flyby is not the first in this space – an app called Drop was released late last year and the credential-heavy Findery lost its way last year with layoffs – the company might be at the right place/right time with the current techology and increased messaging interest from both investors and consumers.

The app itself is still a work-in-progress, as the company is attempting to build a user base before pushing it out to partners. This may work, although it seems that having a steady stable of partners publishing content would entice users to download while also offering a crash course in this entirely new way of communicating and consuming.

For travel marketers, the use cases are still quite compelling for those looking for an added edge over competitors in the travel space.

via Place-based messaging could give travel marketers an advantage.

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The Impact Of Social Media In The Travel Marketing Industry – Forbes

f_logoI will surely refrain from spouting off all the latest and greatest social media marketing numbers. From the gazillion numbers of people on Facebook on Twitter to the rapid rise of Pinterest and Instagram and on and on and on.

I am fairly confident in saying that social media is not a fad. Hard to believe but there are still people who walk among us who still believe that. This just in, the world is not flat, either.

The reason I started this particular piece off this way was for the simple reason that with so many of us humans on one, two or thirty different social media platforms, the point is we are all using social media. Ok not all, but a really, really big number of us to use a not-so-scientific reference.

So with that many people using social media why wouldn’t the travel marketing industry be impacted by its use along with essentially every other industry?

Doesn’t Marketing 101 dictate to go to where your customers and prospects are? I’m pretty sure it did and still does.

Approximately one-fifth of leisure travellers worldwide turn to social media platforms for inspiration within different categories of their travel planning including:

  • Hotels (23%)
  • Vacation activities (22%)
  • Attractions (21%)
  • Restaurants (17%)

As for which social media platform specifically is most used by travellers, Facebook came in first as per the same research.

via The Impact Of Social Media In The Travel Marketing Industry – Forbes.

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Vacation.com Unveils New Brand and Positioning | Travel Agent Central

Vacation.com revealed details of its new brand that the consortia says is positioned around travel agents’ aspirations to “Belong. Inspire. Grow.” The updated tagline more incisively reflects the industry-leading role outlined in the organization’s positioning statement, Vacation.com said: “Vacation.com is an innovative network of professionals that celebrates highly driven travel agencies by supporting them with the tools to help them grow and inspire.”

via Vacation.com Unveils New Brand and Positioning | Travel Agent Central.

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Hotel Think Tank for Hotel Digital Innovation

The 2013 Digital IQ Index®: Hotels report assesses the digital performance of 48 U.S. Hotel brands in the Economy, Midscale, Upper Midscale, and Upscale categories across the dimensions of Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Mobile

via Hotels | L2: A Think Tank for Digital Innovation.

CMOs InTravel | The Forum for Travel Marketing Specialists

CMOs InTravel | The Forum for Travel Marketing Specialists

Advertisers Can Reach More Than 7.5 Million Engaged and Qualified Travelers on Mobile Devices

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 30, 2013--

Mobile Media Summit 2013, As mobile usage among consumers continues to skyrocket, brand advertisers are seeking ways to reach qualified audiences at specific locations. To address this opportunity, MediaShift, Inc. (OTCBB: MSHF), a leading digital advertising technology company, today announced the immediate availability of a new mobile engagement platform that enables brands to reach travelers while at airports and hotels.

Through this immersive, end-to-end platform, brands can now target and remarket to this highly-desirable audience throughout the entire browsing session. Brands are seamlessly integrated into a user experience through sponsorship and native advertising opportunities. The company’s mobile network currently reaches more than 7.5 million unique users per month.

Read more….

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130730-910599.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

via CMOs InTravel | The Forum for Travel Marketing Specialists.

Facebook travel marketing

Facebook travel marketing.

Posted by , Sr. Product Manager at Marin Software.

online travelOver the past year, signs of global economic recovery have brought optimism to marketers across key consumer-based industries. In particular, the travel industry has seen signs of growth from a number of trends including reduced unemployment rates, increased disposable income, and improved consumer optimism.

News | MMGY Global | Integrated Travel Marketing | Facebook\’s Continued Moves in Travel

MMGY Global | Integrated Travel Marketing | Facebook\’s Continued Moves in Travel.

A very interesting review of Facebook in the travel sector in PDF form presented by MMGY Global.

The Six-Page Guide to All Things Sexy in Digital Travel – Skift

The Six-Page Guide to All Things Sexy in Digital Travel – Skift.

Disruption of the $855 billion U.S. travel and tourism industry is something we report on every day at Skift, but recently HUGE, the digital agency best known in the travel world for designing the Four Seasons’ super sexy website, released a report on digital travel trends that we really like.

The report distills the major trends that are changing the way the U.S. and the world travels into a short six pages, which read as a quick jargon-free guide to all things buzz-worthy and innovative in the travel space.

The trends touch on everything from collaborative consumption and mobile apps to hotel management tools and unbundled airline fees