Twitter is blocked in China – what does it mean to Travel and Tourism Marketing?

June 3, 2009

twitter-blocked.jpgFirst some background:As reported by Reuters, and experienced by myself yesterday in sunny Beijing, the GFW (Great Fire Wall) strikes again. The Chinese Government censors blocked access to Twitter and other popular online services on Tuesday (June 2) afternoon at approximately 5pm, two days before the 20th anniversary of the crackdown on democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. The photo-sharing site Flickr, email service Hotmail and other services were also unavailable this evening. was blocked last month and YouTube has been inaccessible from the mainland since March. Read more

Using UGC to Attract Visitors – who leads?

May 19, 2009

In the good ‘ole days – a mere 30 years or so ago – destination marketing was a relatively simple affair: figure out your major selling features, maybe add some positioning spin ( a “snazzy byline or
contemporary looking logo), print some brochures, run an ad campaign; ensure there was a “call to action; ” wait for the phone to ring; mail out the brochures and hope for the best. Read more

The Social Media Trends in Travel Tourism in 2009 and beyond

March 11, 2009


img_5019.JPGA panel at the Phocuswright Bloggers Summit at ITB in Berlin, including Darren Cronian, Kevin May, Klaus Hildebrandt, Martin Schobert, Vasco Sommer-Nunes, and moderated by Stephen Joyce about the Social Media Trends in Travel & Tourism. It was interesting to hear that a big discussion was formulating around the use of Twitter? Read more

Which one is the third largest blogging nation? Iran.

February 14, 2009

We now know that China is the biggest and most active blogging community in the world (more information can be found in Universal McCann’s Social

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thanks to this great piece by students of the Vancouver Film School, we now know…it is Iran! Read more

Social Networking in Travel – KLM Airlines

March 30, 2007

We all know Web 2.0 (or Travel 2.0) are the current buzz words. We also know that Social Networking sites in travel are the trend of the present. I have written about a few of them over the

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(VibeAgent, PairUp, Airtroductions), but we haven’t really seen much from travel suppliers in the hotel, airline, or tourism industry, have we?

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as well as lifestyles – and has recently launched Golf as the first sport-themed social networking community. Why emerging markets? Well, entrepreneurs that are looking to connect with like-minded business people to get tips and tricks on how to engage and interact in those countries have been signing up and log-in at least once a month on average. In addition to making contacts, KLM also organizes offline club events for members and provides benefits such as free airport transfers.

However, when an airline can do it, what about hotels or destinations. I would think that Club-themed resorts such as Club Med, Sandals, etc. could build communities, as well as Vacation Ownership and Private Residence Clubs. Interesting…my question: is this the new wave of innovative CRM strategies, and can it be a shift from expensive loyalty points programs? Is there a way to increase loyalty and increase revenues by building social networking sites in travel, or is it just a fad? In any event, I thought KLM’s efforts were an innovative way of leveraging technology and the Internet by capturing a need in the market.

Online Matchmaking for Plane Travelers

March 12, 2007


Now here is an interesting thought: Have you ever checked-in to your flight, and you wished that you could influence who you would be sitting next to over the next few hours on that plane, or not sitting next to – a mother with a crying baby, a big guy with body odor, or the smart interesting entrepreneur, or even a beautiful girl (or guy)???
Read more

Online Community for Hotel and Travel E-Marketers

February 13, 2007

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has launched virtual communities for its special interest groups, including its Travel Internet Marketing Organization (TIMO). As member of HSMAI’s Board of Directors and founding chair of TIMO, I am especially proud and excited that we now have such a powerful tool at our fingertips to communicate and share ideas. In addition to forums, the community includes resource links, papers and articles, and the ability to easily connect with other online travel marketers. HSMAI has launched also a similar community for its Revenue Management Special Interest Group. If you are an HSMAI member, I encourage you to log-in and to partake in the discussions by visiting

The mission of the Travel Internet Marketing Organization is to:

– To help travel supplier brands leverage the

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Internet to maximize profitability, while protecting brand integrity.

– Increase awareness of issues, opportunities and trends as it relates to Internet marketing and distribution in the travel and hospitality industry.

– Develop and recommend standards and ethical guidelines for the Internet as a marketing medium in the travel and hospitality industry.

Please read today’s official HSMAI press release below.

Read more