Tourism, Bowen Island and other stuff that comes to mind

UK Travel Marketing mirrors Australian endeavours
June 11, 2008, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This article mirrors from the UK to what was documented in an earlier posting regarding Australian Tourism Marketing on Facebook. Amazing how times have changed so rapidly!

Social networking is taking over email, says Facebook director
June 10, 2008
TravelMole’s Dinah Hatch reports that – in the United Kingdom – time spent on social network sites has now surpassed time spent emailing, according to Facebook’s UK director Blake Chandlee.

Chandlee told delegates at the Eye For Travel Travel Distribution Summit in London recently that the average user of social networking sites spends 302 minutes a month on sites such as Facebook, TripAdvisor and Bebo, while they spent only 179 minutes emailing. “If you are only planning on using traditional media to market your product you are only going to be successful some of the time,” said Chandlee. “You need to think how you can add value to the customer experience using these sites. Some 52% of all 25 to 34-year-olds in the UK are on Facebook now and in the last 30 days in the UK, 28 million events (people making arrangements to meet up) have been created on Facebook.”

“There are 10.5 million people in the UK with a profile on Facebook and 100,000 of them have a travel profile, Chandlee continued. “They can be targeted and a whole new level of marketing opens up.”

But’s CEO Ian McCaig warned that caution should be taken before companies jump into the social networking environment in an attempt to market their product. He explained: “There must be a level of sophistication and consideration because interruptive marketing in this environment does not work and alienates the customer as well as potentially damaging your brand. “You need to check that your marketing is not popping up in an environment where a transaction is not taking place and people are just talking to each other. Intruding on social networking with your brand in an irrelevant situation is not welcomed.”

Author: TOURISM staff
Organization: Canadian Tourism Commission


What DO they want?
June 10, 2008, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Business travellers want comfy bed, fast internet
June 9, 2008
A recent survey of business travellers by Radisson Hotels and Resorts reveal that comfort and technology (and a TV remote) are tops for relaxing business travel.

Half of Boomers and nearly that many Gen X/Y (48 percent) think a comfortable bed is the most important hotel feature, and more than one third of both groups indicated the quickest way to get stressed was through a slow or nonexistent hotel Internet connection.

Both Boomer and Gen X/Y business travellers chose “in-room spa” as their top dream hotel amenity (Boomers 56 percent, Gen X/Y 58 percent) and “hot shower” as the best way to unwind at the hotel (Boomers 38 percent, Gen X/Y 33 percent) and agreed that mini-bars (Boomers 69 percent, Gen X/Y 62 percent) and aromatherapy (Boomers 12 percent, Gen X/Y 13 percent) are the top amenities they don’t need.

When asked what they don’t want anyone to know they do on a business trip, both groups noted “watch TV all night” (Boomers 23 percent, Gen X/Y 20 percent) as a top guilty pleasure, although Boomers rated “eat junk food” (27 percent) as their other bad habit.

Author: TOURISM staff
Organization: Canadian Tourism Commission

Congratulations Peter Armstrong
June 4, 2008, 4:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am so proud to have known Peter Armstrong since he knocked at my door when I was Director of Sales of Delta’s Airport Inn back in 1976.  He wanted to talk about Guest Service and how he could change the vistor to Vancouver’s experience onboard a sightseeing tour.  He has continuted that comittment to Quality Service ever since. 

You can to to and click on the souvenir section/library to order the book TRIP OF A LIFETIME which tells the story of Rocky Mountianeer.  It is a wonderful 15 year history of this ‘overnight success.  Tomorrow is the day that they will welcome thier ONE MILLIONTH GUEST onboard. 

‘This is one of the most deserved awards given out in the history of Canada’s tourism Industry.   Congratulations Peter!

Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame inductees honoured
June 3, 2008
Canada’s tourism products and services are among the best in the world, in no small part because of committed people like the five individuals inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame at an intimate reception at the Westin Hotel, in Ottawa.

“These five Canadians have made remarkable contributions over the years to the tourism sector and to their communities,” says Randy Williams, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). “All are an inspiration to their peers, role models for young people entering the sector and outstanding examples of what can be achieved through tourism in Canada.”

TIAC is proud to announce this year’s inductees are Peter Armstrong, Walter Smith, Jean-Marc Eustache, Guy Lalibert√© and The Hon. Charles Lapointe.

Peter Armstrong
Founder of Rocky Mountaineer Vacations
As the founder of Rocky Mountaineer Vacations, Peter Armstrong has seen his organization evolve from a small entrepreneurial start-up company into one of Canada’s leading tourism providers. He helped revitalize train travel in Canada, offering visitors the “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train”. His commitment to excellence extends beyond the visitor experience; the company has also been recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Employers.

Google Tourism
June 4, 2008, 5:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


Google takes on Destination Marketing
June 2, 2008
In a post last week in Business Week, Catherine Holahan talks about an interview she did with Rob Torres, Google’s managing director for Travel where she gets the skinny on Google’s plans for the “$90+ billion global travel ad and sales market. Google has set its sights on Travel Destinations as a revenue opportunity.

As Holahan outlines in her article, Google is trying to take back control of the “advertising” opportunities around what is now primarily user-generated content posted by the general public to the leading video sharing site

Google’s Rob Torres says, “the goal of Google’s travel division (aside from generating revenue!) is to give users a destination where they can research travel plans, read user reviews, and see user uploaded videos and photos…already, about 50% of travelers use some sort of online social media site to research their plans…why not give them a one-stop shop for travel information.”

So Google’s quest is to “help” travel destinations and the associations and tourism boards that run them by helping them distribute canned and “advertorial” web video spots, on – and then lead users to other content including paid search ads, instead of encouraging advertisers to purchase ads around user generated content.

Check out the example that Holahan refers to in the article – New Zealand, which to date has had 884,621 views! In addition, they have posted 40 other videos to YouTube. Currently when you do a search in for the term “New Zealand” the top result is the destination’s promotional video – not the user generated videos posted by users.

According to Marion Edward in “Mouth/Mouse: Social Networking and the Travel Industry, “YouTube has already grown to serve more than 100 million video views per day and is receiving more than 65,000 video uploads daily…with a user base ranging from 18-49, spanning all geographies.”

There are however tourism destinations already actively posting videos to YouTube and other video sharing sites such as Yahoo! Video,, and, but user generated content seems to still be the most watched videos. I am sure that Google will make some changes to the algorithms that uses to serve up search results. This medium then becomes less of a social network and more a “pay to play” advertising vehicle.

My take? Google wants to make sure that they are capitalizing on the revenue opportunity the You presents – which is fairly minimal if destinations are simply advertising in conjunction with user generated content, and many are not yet comfortable with that. Advertisers seem to still want “control” over the message and have not fully embraced “endorsing” or accepting the reality of user generated content and reviews, and the role they now play in the buying cycle of travel.

“Fueling Google’s travel plans is consumers move to researching and booking vacations online… In 2007, more travel sales were booked online than in person”, says Google’s Rob Torres. “That means travel marketers, many of whom already spend millions on search ads and the like, will likely shift more of their budgets to the Web…rather than try to convince travel marketers to advertise on user-generated videos, they can sell sponsored destination pages on YouTube where travel marketers can post their own videos and influence or control what types of content users upload. Then Google can also sell other forms of advertising, such as search ads, to drive traffic to the site.”

Will users who consume embrace an advertising message over user generated content? Is there room for both? I guess we will see!

Author: Alicia Whalen
Organization: A Couple of Chicks E-Marketing