Image via WikipediaI've been invited to participate in a panel discussion next Wednesday. The event goes by the lengthy name of "Promoting AZ Travel with Social Media & Interactive Marketing".
My lovely wife, Sheila Dee, spent a number of years in the travel industry. A good portion of Arizona's economy comes from travel & tourism, as we are a vacation destination. I spent six years running an interactive advertising agency. And I do dabble in social media. Yep. I guess I qualify.
As you might imagine, attendees to this event and panel will be looking for recipes. They want easy-to-implement answers that will bring in an immediate return. The troubled economy has lead to a reduction in personal travel, and that hurts here at home. And while I don't think that a well planned (if that is even possible) social media campaign will get people to start spending more on travel. I also don't think that social media is a quick fix to cause revenues to jump up to previous levels.
My role (self-appointed) on the panel will be to carry the flag of reality. I do think that there are some valuable lessons and best practices that can be applied to hotels, resorts and other destinations. If adopted, they will have a positive influence for the companies that implement and execute them properly. But it takes a LOT of work. It takes dedication. It takes a clear vision and strategy. And it takes a willingness to be flexible in tactics.
Should be a lot of fun. Thanks to Fionn from Elixir Interactive for inviting me to participate.
Do you have any insight on this topic? Leave me a comment. I'll try and work in as many relevant comments into my answers as possible.