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Does travel have a future on Twitter?

TwitterThere have been some interesting uses of Twitter within the travel industry. Whilst JetBlue and United have used the medium to offer discounted flights, Hyatt have been using it as a concierge desk to answer questions from past, present or future guests.  That said, there are still many in the industry who aren’t using it, and many members of the public just don’t ‘get it’.  It’s some way from being mainstream within the industry. Does travel have a future on Twitter?

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 Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I’m still undecided if twitter is the best social media tool for me. I can see it might be great to direct people to my blog (if I had one) or as a tools for sifting through all the information I seek that is out there these days (and growing). But for landing clients… not so sure. There seems to be a lot of useless posts on Twitter – more than info so far. But I’m trying to learn more. Don’t think social media can be ignored anymore. Do worry about spending even more time on the computer than I already do. Jury’s out… as they say.

  2. I think travel has a real future on twitter. I follow several cruise groups, the Hilton Honors and several of their hotel groups and along with @SouthwestAir for my favorite air travel. I also follow Virgin and Richard Branson, and I have enter to win a Hawaii trip from Marriott through twitter. I travel to Las Vegas several times a year and I keep with what is going on through different Vegas groups. So in my opinion I think travel would do well to spend time on twitter.

  3. As David Pogue of the NY Times remarked, and I’m paraphrasing, Twitter defies defining. The great thing is that you can choose whom it is you want to follow. Pick those folks whose posts are of interest to you. If you only want business information or deals on travel packages or products, then follow those folks or businesses. If you want to stay connected with friends and family and text them, follow them. For myself, I like a combination of both. Sometimes my “tweets” are business oriented, other times they are just stream of consciousness things — stuff that other people may not care about, mainly for my own awareness but usually related to the theme of my Twitter persona — yes, I have more than one, for each of my two businesses. Our days go by so quickly sometimes that it feels good to make note of what you’re doing at any given moment.

    Use it how you want, or not at all. Be creative. It’s free and if somewhere around 3.5 million people are following Ashton Kutcher, there must be something to it.

    As for the travel biz, I think it’s great. Of course, I am in a related business so I can benefit from travel tweets. It’s fantastic for selling last minute unused inventory, for sure.

    Twitter has definitely connected me to businesses and people that are way outside of my usual network of contacts. That alone expanded my options.

  4. I must say that as the “creative” guy at my company, I have found Twitter to be a great resource. But, it depends on the the approach you take with it.

    I currently use it as a pseudo bulletin board for announcements, news and link sharing for our followers. When checking the metrics, it is clear that the feed does help direct readers to other content either on our blog or website.

    But it ultimately depends on how you use the account and what your strategic goals are for it.

    My interpretation of Twitter, FB and blogging is that they are very specific ways for companies like ours to provide a level of “transparency” for our client and visitors. Meaning, it helps to knock down the “company” walls and give insight to clients and visitors to see who you are as a company and get to know the staff at some level. Think about it, someone can get to know your company and staff even before a formal face-to-face. Familiarity creates brand awareness and a comfort level even prior to doing any business together.

  5. I think that travel (and the hospitality industry in general) absolutely has a future on Twitter – it’s a great tool to offer special deals and talk about events. Also, when someone has a good experience at your hotel, they will tell all of their friends. Roger Smith Hotel (@rshotel) in NYC is very adept at using social media – they reach out to the Twitter community, make themselves available for feedback / concerns, and announce events that the Twitter users an be interested in

    One caveat with Twitter is that it only makes sense if your target demographic is on it. If it’s not, then you are wasting resources.

  6. I think a better question would be: Does Twitter have a future when Google Wave is coming? Twitter has tremendous potential, but it is not being realised yet. I think Google Wave will come along and make it obsolete. Twitter is effectively MSDOS while Google Wave will be Windows. Of course you can run programs using command line interfaces but don’t windows and icons make it so much easier?
    You will still have short messages but you will get the thunbnails of photos and documents, emoticons and everything that Twitter is missing. Twitter will continue but the Travel companies will move to Google Wave.
    The other great thing about Google Wave is that a wave, for example started by someone looking for a memorable trip to Tuscany, would start with their friend’s information, tips and reviews. Then perhaps other people might join the Wave and add content including photos of attractions, accommodation, videos and the like. Travel companies would probably join the wave and add their own offerings. The completed wave would be quite some resource for anyone else looking for a trip to Tuscany.

  7. Luxury travel definitely has a future on twitter; as younger generations amass wealth and look for places to spend money, it only makes sense that they would turn to the social networking mediums they grew up with and are already accustomed to.

  8. i definitely think twitter has a place in the travel sector it allows companies the opportunity to engage with interested clients in a medium that they are happy with. if your clients are there you need to be too! the same goes with facebook.

  9. I just stumbled upon this now very old post and happened to be having a read of the comments.

    WIth the huge benefit of hindsight, it’s fun to read your comments, John! :-)

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