National Tourism Week Goes Social – 2011

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]About this time last year I wrote about some cool social media promotions that DMOs around the country were doing to help celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week.  This year, National Travel and Tourism Week is May 7-15, 2011.  Hundreds of events will be held throughout the week to inform the public about the economic impact that travel has in our communities.

Many groups are holding local rallies.  Some are doing outreach to the media.  And others are stepping up their advocacy efforts to elected officials.  Some DMOs are including social media as a major component of their National Travel and Tourism Week activities.

Last year, I featured the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Visit Indiana, and Visit Jacksonville, Florida.  Swing by the U.S. Travel Association for all the information and resources you need to launch an effective campaign in your destination.  And if you tweet, be sure to add #TravelTuesday and #travelrally to your tweets on Tuesday, May 10 to help spread the word.

Are y’all ready for round 2?

Discover Ohio

Discover Ohio is the DMO for the State of Ohio, and provides information to the traveling public on what to see and do in the Buckeye State.

The Ohio Tourism Division folks have partnered with Groupon to offer tourism-related deals from May 9-15 in all 7 Groupon markets in the state.  Deals include discounts at attractions, restaurants, lodging, and events.  In addition to calling attention to the Ohio tourism industry, this program is designed to attract visitors to the state during the spring and summer – peak vacation season.  Discover Ohio is promoting their Groupon specials via Twitter, Facebook, and on their Discovering Ohio blog.

Get more information about this promotion on the Discover Ohio website.

Experience Grand Rapids

Known for its early adoption and cutting-edge use of social media, Experience Grand Rapids promotes the city to visitors as a very hip and cool place to be.  Their social media marketing is looked to by many in the industry as an example of what DMOs should be doing.  Always willing to try something new, Experience Grand Rapids decided to mark National Travel and Tourism Week this year with a virtual rally.  On Twitter.

The rally will be held on May 10, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm.  All you have to do is follow @ExperienceGR and the hashtag #GRTourism on Twitter.  Staff will be asking questions, posting facts, and engaging with followers about Grand Rapids’ tourism industry.  If you don’t happen to have a Twitter account, don’t worry.  You can still follow along in the very cool Tourism Rally Chat Lounge.  While you’re checking out Experience Grand Rapids, I’d like to take one more opportunity to brag on them.  Have you seen the Social Lounge on their website?  Why don’t we all have one of these?  Genius!

Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau

Quick!  What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word, “Fargo”?  The movie right?  Yeah?  Yeah.  <my weak attempt at a North Dakota accent in print>  What else?  C’mon, you know it’s the wood chipper scene from the movie.

Many destinations will shy away from this type of imagery and misconception, but not the folks at the Fargo-Moorhead CVB.  They’ve embraced it!  They decided to take something that could be seen as a detractor, re-package it, poke fun at themselves a little, and score a HUGE return in the media and with the public.  I give you The Woodchipper in Fargo – a replica of the one used in the film.  Yes, that’s a foot sticking out of it.  But did you see the QR code? 🙂

So what does a wood chipper have to do with National Travel and Tourism Week?  The Fargo-Moorhead folks are using it as a springboard to launch an exhibit featuring the wood chipper and some other cool “Fargo” movie memorabilia.  Not only will the replica wood chipper be on hand for those “must have” photo opps, the real wood chipper will also be on display!  The CVB is encouraging all who visit to share their wood chipper photos on Facebook for all to see.  And yes, the Woodchipper in Fargo has its own Facebook page.

Visit Buffalo Niagara 

Known around the world for the spectacular Niagra Falls, the Buffalo Niagra Convention and Visitors Bureau promotes this and many other fantastic attractions to travelers.

The staff at Visit Buffalo Niagara have come up with a clever contest aimed at locals that kicks off during National Tourism Week – Buffalo’s Ultimate Tourist in Your Own Backyard.  At the core of this contest is leveraging the viral nature of social media and its ability to spread word of mouth marketing like wildfire.  Just convince the CVB why you should be the Ultimate Tourist in 200 words or less, and you’ll be off on a whirlwind tour of all the cool things to see and do in the Buffalo Niagara area. 

Prizes include tickets for two to 20 area attractions, gift cards to five local restaurants, overnight stays at two local hotels, two round-trip tickets from Jet Blue, and a Canon Powershot digital camera.  In return, the CVB is asking the winner to write two blog posts per week between May 23 and July 31.  The winner will describe their experiences while visiting the area and snap some photos with that new camera, and the CVB will use this first person content on their blog, Facebook, and Twitter channels.  The winner will also be asked to use his or her own social media channels to promote their Buffalo Niagara experiences as well.

Other Promotions?

What other cool National Travel and Tourism Week promotions have you heard about?  What is your DMO doing?

Updated May 0, 2011 at 3:22pm CST.

3 Responses

  1. Check out our “Where on the Trail?” promotion on Facebook which we’ve decorated for Travel & Tourism Week!!/GreaterWilmingtonCVB

    • James,
      Thanks for sharing your promotion! This is a great example of what regions can do. So many of the great examples are from cities, so I’m thrilled to see a regional DMO doing something like this. I’d love it if you would share some of your results with us. Please touch base after National Travel and Tourism Week and let us know how it went. Thanks!
      — Sarah

  2. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about making my own but
    I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Appreciate it

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