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Social media in the luxury travel industry

I’m noticing an increasing tendancy for people involved in the  luxury travel to turn to social media tools and more innovative ways of getting their message across online.   One such example is OutriggerHawaii.com which is celebrating its first birthday since its launch. Departing from the traditional hotel Web site, it showcases the allure of Hawaii by featuring unique stories and video vignettes that capture the spirit and adventure found only on the Islands. Launched in July 2008 by Outrigger Enterprises Group, the destination Web site has won several awards for sharing the culture, history, and beauty of Hawaii, with people around the world.   It certainly seems to be a little more pro-active than many hotel websites in getting across information such as local events, and by updating its blog.   It also uses the likes of Twitter, Facebook et al.   What do you think?   Will we see more luxury travel businesses making use of social media tools?

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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  1. The rate of adoption here in Asia is slower, but it is happening. Karma Resorts uses Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and many other social networking tools to promote their luxury resorts. A lot of interest, but aside from Karma, few good examples in this part of the world.

  2. My latest project: a convention meet-up tool is just now being adopted by NBTA. It’s sort of a facebook/linkedin/outlook mashup. We’ll know by August how well it’s received.

    OutriggerHawaii.com seriously need to get a new hosting provider / developer. The page didn’t load in a timely manner so I bounced.

  3. We think social media is much more than just getting your message across. Luxury travel businesses that are serious about relationships will adopt social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. These tools provide a unique opportunity to connect with travellers by having a conversation with them about local news, events, travel advice, activities and more. At our luxury inn DesBarres Manor Inn, we talk with people on Twitter who share our interests in luxury accommodations wine and gourmet dining, offering advice trip planning and giving an insider view on the things that matter to the luxury traveller. Come join the conversation!


  4. I heard from Bvlgari that Ritz-Carlton was “experimenting” — guess they are dipping their toes in the social media pool and the brand family is taking a wait and see attitude.

    Maurice: I think ideally they should be high quality, but I also think that re-posting user-created content is a hallmark of the viral component of social media marketing, hence the most important thing is the interaction; the production quality must, by definition, be a secondary (or tertiary) concern.

    The buzz is the thing.

  5. My Pet peeve: considering Ritz as “luxury”. In my limited experience at Ritz (Singapore, Marina Del Ray and Washington DC), Ritz has miles to go before it can be considered luxury! Park Hyatts and Four Seasons offer much better.

  6. I think social media is fast becoming an integral part of any marketing campaign and the luxury travel providers are finding they need to be there too, some of the companies and hotels do it very well keeping customer engaged and up to date while others are either conspicuous by the absence or how badly they engage. it is something that any organisation nowadays has to get to gripps with.

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