Tourism Boards Learning to Step in Front of the Social Media WaveApril 2nd, 2011 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Tourism Boards Learning to Step in Front of the Social Media Wave
Would you estimate recent tourism numbers to be higher or lower in places like Egypt…Japan…Libya? We don”t have the stats in front of us but, thanks to an earthquake, tsunami, nuclear reactor snafu, and a couple of rebel uprisings, we would guess that tourism ain”t what it used to be in those three countries right now. There”s adventure travel, and then there”s insanity.
But the interesting part of these recent “issues” puts the spotlight on local tourism boards who are in the business of damage control right now. It used to be that getting the “good” news out and hiding the “bad” news under the couch was much easier, but the effect social media has had in every sector of life is being felt in the travel industry now too. Is your resort built across the street from a radioactive “incident?” Did the most recent guests leave complaining that the pillows glowed green at night and their thyroid ached?
You can bet these opinions will be posted on all over the internet by nightfall, if they aren”t already. Tourism boards around the world are finding out how pesky it can be when the absolute unvarnished truth about the travel experience is available to every Tom, Dick, and Sally with the wherewithal to look for it. And what if the guest in question has a few thousand Facebook friends and Twitter followers, and doesn”t hesitate to make their displeasure known?
What do you do about it then, Mr. Ministry of Tourism? Unfortunately, you”re just going to have to suck it up and take it. If the review posted told the whole truth, the complete truth, and nothing but the truth, what are you complaining about? Either improve the experience or face the fact that maybe your “destination” isn”t quite what it”s cracked up to be.
And, yes, some reviews are entirely unfair, posted by evil malcontents. The good news is that most people trolling social media sites for travel reviews are not going to throw the baby out with the bath water and freak over a single bad review. It”s the preponderance of the evidence that matters. If eight out of ten love you, don”t sweat it.
But what you should sweat is your ability to get your destination into the social media conversation and help drive
the talk rather than playing defense against those who have nothing better to do than stir the pot. Is social media changing the way we travel? You bet!
The Jetsetter Show Team
Flickr / TheAlieness