Monthly Archives: August 2009

Twitter for Travel

Twitter_256x256[1]I’ve recently begun tweeting for my employer, which is a supplier in the vast global travel industry.

Despite the fact that the travel industry is struggling along with the rest of the worldwide economy, there is no shortage of twitter fans among travel suppliers.  I feel safe saying there are thousands of airlines, cruise lines, hotel chains, resorts, tour companies, travel agents, destinations, experts, bloggers, journalists and pundits of every stripe tweeting on every aspect of the travel industry.

While my tweets are generally informative and my efforts still exploratory, I have found there are some lessons to be learned and opportunities to be exploited in the world of business tweeting.  Here’s what I’ve found:

Twitter is a great sales tool.  If you have prospects, see if they are on twitter.  You can follow their tweets, learn a lot about them and even create a relationship with them.

Listening is as important as tweeting.  I’ve learned a lot about my industry from reading the tweets of the many people I’m following.  Listening to tweets is just as valuable as sending them out.

Own a niche.  Tweeters who own some niche in the industry are seen as a valuable resource and have no trouble getting followers or having their tweets re-tweeted.

Twitter is a conversation.  Some people think Twitter is a publishing tool.  It’s actually a tool to hold conversations and build relationships.  Use it that way. 

Put some personality into your tweets.  I think there’s nothing worse than the corporate tweeter who just posts the occasional sterile information and offers no personality, no humor, no sign of being a human.  Don’t be that guy/gal.

Hashtags work.  Hashtags are search tools that help others find your tweets.  My favorites are #traveltuesday and #followfriday.  These hashtags are day specific and you can find people to follow and generate followers for yourself.  Most industries have a standard hashtag, ours is #travel.

Thanks for reading and happy Tweeting.

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Filed under PR, Public Relations, Travel, Uncategorized

Vacation Deficit Hurts America

on_vacation[1]Access America has released its first ever Vacation Confidence Index (shameless plug: my idea) and has found that a significant number of Americans are suffering from a Vacation Deficit.  The “deficit” is caused by those Americans who strongly value a vacation, but for economic reasons have not taken a vacation this year.

 

The Vacation Deficit is very real.  Of those who feel that a vacation is important or very important, nearly one-quarter (23%) do not plan to take a vacation this year.  That’s a lot of missed vacations.

This fact made me think about the effect all of those missed vacations have on our country, our economy and our productivity.  It’s no secret that the travel industry has been having a tough year because travel is down across the board, including in leisure travel.  The travel industry contributes a lot of money and jobs to our economy.  The U.S. Travel Association predicts 450,000 U.S. travel jobs will be lost between 2008 and 2009.

But beside the pure economic impact, what is the impact on workers who don’t take time to get away because they don’t take their vacation?  No vacation means the batteries aren’t recharged and workers aren’t “tan, rested and ready.” One study found worker productivity up by 82% after a vacation.

Bottomline:  Take a vacation.  It’s good for you, it’s good for all of us.

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Filed under Travel