Tired of Searching for Flickr Photos of Your Destination? Automate It!

Flickr Icon[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]As many of you already know, I am a huge fan of Flickr.  I use it personally to share photos from my life and my travels.  I also use it professionally to help promote the Colorado River Trail region with our Flickr group.  With this group, I’m able to get candid and often high-quality photos from people enjoying my destination.  I’ve used them in blog posts, on Facebook and Twitter, and even in a publication (with the photographer’s permission, of course).

Finding these photos can be very time-consuming – especially when your destination consists of 11 Texas counties.  Manually searching for town or attraction names is tedious at best.  What if there were a way to have great photography delivered to you on a daily basis?

What if you didn’t have to hunt for them any more?  What would that be worth to you?

Now.  What if I told you it was free and just takes a few simple steps to get set up?

Well, wait no more!   Continue reading

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Fish Where the Fish Are

A man's man's breakfast

Courtesy of Coos Bay-North Bend VCB/David Miller

Back in June of 2009, I wrote a post about The Ones To Watch.  In it, I highlighted two smaller communities that were using social media effectively to help promote their destinations.  And while neither of them have really left the scene, Coos Bay, OR is back with a simple lesson to us all: Fish where the fish are.   Both literally and metaphorically. Continue reading

Sharing Your Destination with the World: Lessons Learned Using Flickr

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]Last week I had the distinct pleasure of being one of the presenters at the 2011 Social Media Tourism Symposium.  As cool an experience as this was for me, it was made even better by getting to present with my friend Katie Cook, Interactive Marketing Manager with the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Our topic was “Sharing Your Destination with the World: Lessons Learned Using Flickr.”  Katie and I both have Flickr groups for our destinations, and use them extensively as a source for user-generated content.

Check out the Colorado River Trail Flickr group and the Visit Austin Texas Flickr group to see the amazing material we have to work with. Continue reading

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?

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Go Behind the Scenes with Tourism Currents

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]There’s just nothing cooler than a behind the scenes tour.  Getting to see something that most people don’t?  Well, that’s the stuff that bragging rights are made for! Come on.  Admit it.  Going behind the scenes makes you feel a little special, doesn’t it?  Well it should.

That’s just how I hope to make you feel with this post.  Special.  You’re going to get an insider’s look at Tourism Currents (affiliate link) – one of the best places to get social media training for tourism industry professionals around.   I wrote about Tourism Currents in a previous post. Go ahead.  Look for yourself.  You’ll see – it’s good stuff!

So here is some Q&A with Sheila Scarborough, half of the Tourism Currents team.  Becky McCray is the other half of the team.  Together, they possess a treasure trove of knowledge and experience.  They are the dynamic duo.  Trust me.  You’ll think so 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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The Darlington Experiment 2.0: Croudsourcing an Image

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]I ran across an interesting article back in early December that caught my attention.  At the time I thought it had the makings of a great Tourism Tech post, but I wasn’t sure what the context would be.  Now I think I have it.

According to their website, the Darlington Experiment 2.0 is “a fun web-based experiment to increase the positive perceptions of Darlington using social media sites.”  The goal is to get locals talking about why they love Darlington on YouTube, Twitter, and other social media sites for all the world to see.  It’s crowdsourcing for tourism.

The article that caught my eye described how Darlington named a “twitterer in residence”.  His name is Mike McTimoney and his “day job” is a school teacher, but his job for the Darlington Experiment 2.0 (or Dx2, as they say in Darlington) is to promote local events and inform people about local news.

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