5 Tourism Industry Tweeps You Should Follow in 2010

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]David Letterman gets it.  His Top 10 list is usually the part of his show that everyone looks forward to.  I know I do.  I love lists.  To me, they’re like when you’re at a presentation and the speaker says, “If you only remember <insert any number here> things from my speech today, remember these.”  It catches your attention, right?  Now, you’re really listening.  Lists distill all the great content down into bite size pieces.  Things that are relatively easy to remember.  The good stuff.

I’ve seen several “Top 10” lists since the start of 2010.  You’ve got your top 10 predictions, top 10 trends in one industry or the other, top 10 reasons why something is the greatest thing ever, top 10 companies to watch, etc., etc.  And the list goes on.  Truthfully, I’ve probably read most of the ones I see.

So in my ongoing effort to share what I learn, I thought I’d break with tradition and highlight my top 5 tourism industry people who share what they learn with the rest of us.  These folks are my “go to” list for knowledge and information.  Most of them I trade questions and answers with.   From all of them, though, I learn.

There are lots of others I would love to include, but I’d be writing all day.  There are also several great organizations and companies in the tourism industry you should be paying attention to (hey, I sense another post coming on … ).  So with no further adieu, here’s my top 5 list of tourism tweeps you should follow in 2010.

My Top 5 Tourism Industry Tweeps

  1. @Sheilas – Sheila Scarborough has opened my eyes to so many things, I almost don’t know where to start.  Sheila is passionate about tourism and social media.  And she knows her stuff.  Sheila works ceaselessly to help others improve their knowledge and skills in social media.  She has grit and the tenacity of a bulldog (or a former naval officer … which she is).  And she uses these traits to hunt down the answers to those burning social media questions we all have, and then she shares it with the rest of us.  Sheila says what she means, and means what she says.  Often, she says it with humor.  Sheila and her business partner Becky McCray (@BeckyMcCray) recently launched a new business called Tourism Currents.   Tourism Currents is an online learning community that provides social web learning resource specifically for tourism professionals.  You can follow Sheila and Becky’s combined knowledge on Twitter (@TourismCurrents), or better yet, join the community.  I wrote a post about Tourism Currents last fall just prior to their launch.  Sheila’s work with Tourism Currents was recently nominated for the Austin American-Statesman’s Texas Social Media Awards.  The judges thought so much of her work that they included her in their list of top 25 finalists.  A quick shout out to Becky – Becky is also an excellent resource to fellow tourism industry people.  In addition, she provides helpful tips and information to small businesses – particularly those in small towns or rural communities – on her blog, Small Biz Survival.  Both of these ladies deserve a follow.  Hey, you got a twofer!
  2. @WhosYourAnnieIf I have a question about tourism or social media, Anne Hornyak is usually among the first people I ask.  I marvel at the depth and breadth of her knowledge in these areas.  And if there’s something she doesn’t know, she can tell you – without hesitating – who to contact.  Anne is the former “voice” behind the @VisitChicago Twitter account, and is now a Social Media Strategist for the GoSeeTell Network.   One of Anne’s newest ways to share information is #tourismchat.  This Twitter meeting happens every two weeks on a Thursday, and brings together some of the most creative minds in the travel and tourism industry from around the U.S. and Canada.  The conversation is centered around a specific topic for each chat, and everyone contributes by asking questions and sharing knowledge and “how-to” experience.  Anne is generous with her knowledge and resources, and very, very funny.  Not enough?  I hear she’s a flute rockstar too!
  3. @GammetGuyDavid Serino combines his years of hotel, resort, and convention & visitor bureau (CVB) background with more years of OJT in the Internet, digital marketing, and new media.  The result?  A guy who’s been there and done that, and can help you do the same.  His company, Gammet Interactive, helps CVBs and DMOs navigate the ever-changing waters of digital marketing.  Gammet Interactive also does quarterly rankings of  “How Social Is Your State DMO?” (PDF).  Serino’s blog provides useful and insightful information about new technology, and how it can be implemented in the travel and tourism industry. He shares the same type of information on Twitter.  He’s also an incredibly nice and generous guy who’s willing to help out others whether he knows them or not.  He recently helped me out with a presentation, never even having met me.
  4. @toddlucierTodd Lucier writes the Tourism Keys Internet Marketing for Tourism blog, which is literally chock full of fantastic information and resources.  He takes his front line experience in attracting and welcoming visitors, and applies what he’s learned to the Internet.  He’s tried more new technology than most people have even heard of (including me), then he shares what he discovers with the rest of us.  He does seminars, workshops, keynotes, and other training for CVBs, DMOs, and tourism associations.  While I personally love his blog, I enjoy his stream on Twitter the most.  He shares some of the most interesting, timely, relevant, and thought-provoking information around.
  5. @mosherifdeenMo Sherifdeen is the Interactive Marketing Manager for Travel Oregon, and the co-author of the always-informative Travel 2.0 blog.  In addition to handling Travel Oregon’s digital marketing efforts through their website, Mo also oversees the @TravelOregon account on Twitter.  On Travel 2.0, Mo and his co-author Troy Thompson of Visit Denver, share their extensive experience and knowledge of all things digital with the travel and tourism industry.  Self-proclaimed technology junkies (who even blog while on vacation), they share trends and statistics, offer analytical case studies, and keep us up to date on the travel industry’s ongoing love affair with the Internet, technology, and social media.  Both of these guys deserve a follow.  Another twofer!

So as I said, I know there are lots of other worthy tourism tweeps that I didn’t include.  For that, I apologize.  But, this gives you the chance to tell me who I’ve missed.  So shout ’em out!  Who’s on your top 5 list?

Photo courtesy of holtsman.

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7 Responses

  1. Sarah, Great post! You definitely hit 5 of the top social media thinkers in tourism. I glean bits of wisdom from each of them on almost a daily basis

    @VisitIndiana
    @JeremyAWilliams

  2. Thanks so much, Jeremy! I’m honored that you like it, and so pleased that you agree with my picks. They really are great, aren’t they?
    — Sarah

  3. Sarah, it was beyond terrific to meet you in person at SXSW. You are not only brilliant yourself, but you help to bring out the brilliance in others.

  4. Becky,
    For once, I almost have no words. That’s such a nice compliment! And to hear it from someone who I respect so much is even more meaningful. I really enjoyed finally getting to meet you too – I felt like I knew you already!

    Thanks for all the great work you do to help others. I know I learn something from you on practically a daily basis.
    — Sarah

  5. Well, my business partner Becky obviously has much better Web manners than I do….can’t believe I haven’t come by much sooner than this to say thank you for your kind words!

    You’ve been such a gem to introduce me to great tourism folks in Texas; what a bonus to find that we think alike on so many issues AND you live just down the road from me. Thanks for everything….

    • Sheila, it’s been such a pleasure getting to know you professionally and personally over the last year. When I discover something (or someone, in this case) that’s good, I believe in sharing it. Your knowledge of tourism and social media is something that should be shared, and I was (and continue to be) honored to do so.

  6. Now tourism in all over the world must thinking about environment, One of leader to save the world from Global Warming is Bali with the Hinduism ceremony that call “Nyepi” day or silent day where on that day nobody in this island allowed to turn on the light/fire, no working, no traveling and no eat for 24 hours.

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