For a long time now we’ve been preaching how fun and engaging Twitter is…and yet questioned how effective it is when applied to the travel market.
Increasingly, Twitter, it seems, is playing a key role in the critical stages of travel: research, mid-travel engagement and post-trip reviews/feedback.
Of the 25,000 Tweets analyzed, a huge 33% directly addressed tourism and travel with the ten most frequently asked questions having to do with where to go, where to sleep, what activities to see…and finding a hotel.
Enter Loews Hotels (@Loews_Hotels) with its new Social Reservations system. It allows guests to book stays directly through Twitter: No calls, no online booking, reports SproutSocial.
Customers use #BookLoews in a Tweet to @Loews_Hotel and a professional travel planner from the hotel will tweet a link back to a secure chat connection and you’re in, and off to the kind of hotel stay you want to stay in.
Since so much travel anxiety is all about flights (missed, delayed, costs), UK-based Leeds Bradford Airport (@LBIAirport) has taken some of the worry out of flight planning with its Twitter-oriented app.
Jennifer Beese, writing for Sprout Social says that Travelers using the airport send a Direct Message (DM) to @LBIAirport using the word “flight” followed by the traveler’s flight number. Leeds will then send a steady stream of flight updates until the plane has arrived or departed.
And finally, in the genre of “Where Shall I Go” tweets, South African Tourism (@GoToSouthAfrica 54K Followers; 13.9K Following) invited travel bloggers to explore four different itineraries covering all of South Africa. This #MeetSouthAfrica campaign produced 10,000+ tweets funneled through 3.7 million Twitter accounts.
The numbers matter, but what matters more is that the tweets were all about the people the bloggers met, their intimate and not so intimate experiences, personal stories..basically life in South Africa.
In case, of course, a traveler ever wanted to know about the country, or was thinking of traveling there, #MeetSouthAfrica provided more compelling images and information for less money to more people than a single full page ad.