Stop Using Travel as a Weapon

no travel screen bean[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”] I’m breaking one of my own rules with this post.  I started this blog to highlight the way travel can be promoted and made easier on the traveling public by technology. This post, while it is about travel, has really nothing to do with technology at all.  In fact, this post may actually piss some people off.  That, however, is not my intent.  My hope is to make you think.  I also hope to continue doing something dear to my heart – supporting the travel industry in this country.

This is also not meant to be a political post, though I fear some will see it that way.  I hope you’ll notice that I am deliberately not taking sides.  I am not holding up one political persuasion over another.  Now that I’ve piqued your interest, I’ll get on with the post.

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National Travel and Tourism Week Goes 2.0

NTTW logo[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”] National Travel and Tourism Week is here again (May 8-16, 2010).  This year, as with every preceding year, I watch with great interest to see what destination marketing organizations (DMOs) around the country will be doing to extol the virtues of the tourism industry and promote their destinations.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of DMOs are participating in this year’s efforts to raise awareness of the economic benefits of our industry.  The U.S. Travel Association heads up the marketing and public relations efforts for National Travel and Tourism Week, as well as U.S. Travel Rally Day.  They’ve put together a very helpful toolkit that’s full of ideas, templates, logos, and more to help DMOs run a successful campaign.

There was one thing a bit different in the toolkit this year that caught my eye – it was a PDF with social media tips for National Travel and Tourism Week.  Maybe they did it last year and I just missed it, but this (to me) was something new and fresh.  They’re asking tourism industry people on Twitter to use #traveltuesday or #travelrally when you update your status on May 11 to help increase visibility and searchability of National Travel and Tourism Week in general and Travel Rally Day specifically.  After seeing this, I started noticing that a few DMOs had gotten on the National Travel and Tourism Week social media bandwagon too.

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#tourismchat – Q&A with Its Creators Anne Hornyak and Betsy Decillis

tourismchat logo[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”] Social media is a two-way street.  It’s about the give and take.  The conversation.  It’s about sharing what you know, and knowing that others will reciprocate when they can.

In the tourism industry, I think this comes naturally.  We’re all a pretty friendly bunch, with he sole goal of helping people have a good time in our destinations.

It works the same way with fellow tourism industry professionals.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard one DMO person say to another, “I’m gonna steal that idea!”  To me, that’s the highest form of flattery.  Someone else thinks your idea is good enough to use in their own efforts.  Why re-invent the wheel, right?  If there’s an idea you can use, modify for your situation, and put to good use, then why the hell not?

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