Posted by: tourismvc | December 13, 2011

What will be your “Web Presence” in 2012 ?

You notice I said web presence and not website.  Today’s global market requires you to be in several channels to show your web presence as well engage with your customers.  These channels include social media – facebook, twitter, flickr,  a blog,  video – youtube,  maps, mobile and much more .

It is that time of the year for your to review your current presence & online strategy, your metrics and reflect on the 2011 results.  What worked and why, as well what didn’t work and why.  Then start working on your 2012 strategy. As Terri McCulloch, Bay of Fundy Tourism, would always say – “Strategy first before Technology” .

Your 2012 strategy should include goals, objectives, target markets, key messages, key words, content management, resources required to add and build your web presence.  Once your strategy is completed, then you can evaluated and research what technology tools will be used to implement it.

Posted by: tourismvc | October 20, 2011

Two New Books on Social Media

End of Business as Usual by Brian Solis

Two new social media books that recently  caught my eye were – 1) The End of Business as Usual, by Brian Solis and 2) No Bullshit Social Media by Jason Falls and Erik Deckers.

The End of Business as Usual is Brian Solis second book. His first book was the highly successful publication called Engage: The complete guide for Brands & Businesses to Build, Cultivate and measure success in the new web. In his new book, he explains to businesses, the consumer revolution where consumers connect to others in a variety of networks. Mr. Solis identified the trends in social media, mobile marketing, real- time and how business must change in order to connect to their consumers. The book is available at Amazon – $15.48 (US) and $18.77 (Cdn).


No Bullshit Social Media by Jason Falls & Erik Deckers

The second book No Bull Shit social Media provides the reader with a business case to show why you should be using social media to communicate with your customers – B2C & with other businesses – B2B.  It breaks down the barriers and reasons and shows that real reason why businesses need to be involved social media is to make money.

Below is a video on the two authors of this book, explaining why they wrote the book and what it is all about for businesses. The book is available at Amazon – $14.89 (US) & $17.00 (Cdn).

Posted by: tourismvc | May 12, 2011

Not enough to be Better, you have to be Different

The title for this post is a phrase keynote speaker Toni Newman used extensively in her workshop during the Tourism Innovation NS Days held recently in Halifax. The other phrase of course was Why not ?? Toni challenged us to be different, and think outside the box. You soon realize this is not an easy task  ie. How to take an ordinary moment and make it into a magical moment.

The focus in tourism the past few years has been to train, educate and encourage the industry to offer unique experiences and memorable moments for our visitors. The industry has been exposed to the Explorer Quotient (EQ ) system to help us design experiences for the various type of explorers our visitors are.  Visitors also want the opportunity to engage with local residents. This new approach requires working with your staff, the industry and your community.

The Tourism Division of NS Economic, Rural Development & Tourism Dept. has an excellent publication – “Experience Nova Scotia : A  Toolkit , ”  to help the tourism industry develop these unique and different experiences for visitors. As well, NS Tourism offers a one day workshop to help the community and the tourism industry with the process of creating unique experiences.

So what is an example of something different and unique.  Kite surfing and Bugging on Conrad Beach, Nova Scotia. See the CTC video below.

Posted by: tourismvc | February 28, 2011

Tourism Online Marketing Trends 2011 – Top 5

Here are my top 5 pics for tourism online marketing trends in 2011 :
1)  Online Marketing  Strategy for “Web Presence”. No longer is the website  the main call to action but it also includes video, facebook, twitter, your online ads, e-mail newsletter & mobile etc.  
2) Communication & Social Media Policy for your business.  How do I work with my team, engage and communicate with my customers
3)  Relevant and regular content on all your web presence tools including the use of new media with photos, videos & audio selling unique experiences.
4) Mobile Marketing becomes part of the tourism industry… Mobile website or app.
5) QR codes become relevant and very useful for the tourism industry in mobile marketing.

Posted by: tourismvc | January 24, 2011

Location & Permission Based Marketing

Digi Marketing

I remember Dr. Ian Fenwick, a couple of years, who presented at a Canada e-Connect conference in Toronto on Digi Marketing.  During his presentation, he talked extensively on permission based marketing in which people must decide on the benefits of services offered before giving permission to the company on their location and private information.    He gave an example of a person walking in the mall and his/her phone rings indicating on the face of their phone,  there is  50% sale at this store.

One of the top 10 Social media trends for 2011 is Location based marketing in which people checked into a business for imformation on products, sales, promotions. etc. Location services will become more popular when people become comfortable with privacy and safety features blocking their location from the public. Hence the need for permission based marketing.

At Christmas time, I was exposed to a new app for my iphone – yellow pages in which provides closes business, provides directions,  map, business ad, contact info etc. This looks like a great app. for a tourism destination area.

Posted by: tourismvc | January 12, 2011

Nova Scotia Social Media Cafe

Sunrise at White Point Beach Resort, NS

A beautiful early morning sunrise, and a property with friendly bunny rabbits, provided the perfect setting for NS Tourism Social Media Cafe at White Point Beach Resort.  Twenty three delegates shared their expertise to assist NS Tourism move their social media strategy forward.

The top three topics of discussion from Social Media Cafe were Facebook, Trip Advisor and QR codes.  Blogs, twitter, photos, videos, SEO, and google maps were also discussed along with social metrics.

The day was facilitated by our great host Ms. Donna Hatt, White Point Beach Resort with assistance from NS Tourism – Tanya Johnson & Michelle Sears and TIANS – Tracey Beattie. Plans are to meet again in 3-4 months and keep sharing and networking with each other. Below are some pics of the day.

Posted by: tourismvc | December 3, 2010

Changing Trends of Festivals & Events

Sponsorships, Event NS

Sponsorship Panel at Event NS Conference, Nov. 24-25, Port Hawkesbury, NS

Recently, I was able to attend the Events Nova Scotia in Port Hawkesbury and Victoria County’s Festival and Event Workshop at Gaelic College, St. Ann’s, and notice the amazing changes taking place in Festivals and Events. Many events are moving away from traditional marketing to online marketing, social media and online tools. An example of change is a radio station that can now offer an internet radio audience as well facebook fan page, twitter and can reach way more people than its radio station.

Events Nova Scotia  is helping communities with professional bids for events and will be launching soon their new tools to help organizers & planners with facilities, volunteers and my event planner.

The emergence & use of social media in festivals and events was evident in both the conference & workshop along with  the importance of online marketing. Online meetings caught the eye of many organizers at the workshop with the amount of travelling and time that could be saved. And last but not least festival evaluation and economic impact. A number of  festivals are using online surveys to assist them in their evaluation. Nova Scotia  Tourism will be rolling out it’s TEIM – tourism economic impact model in new year which assist festival and event organizers, businesses and the industry determine its economic impact.  Lots of great tools online coming for festivals and events to use in 2011.  What are you using to plan and implement your festival or event ?

Posted by: tourismvc | October 29, 2010

Edge of the Wedge Podcast – The Tough Questions

GMIST - Edge of the Wedge

At Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland, the 23rd course of the Edge of the Wedge at GMIST,  is taking place this week, August 25-28, with participants from Atlantic Canada attending the 4 day experiental travel course with instructors Nancy Arsenault, Celes Delvar and Todd Lucier.

A question and answer session was held one day and four of the participants asked some tough questions to their instructors. Questions included a) the role of tourism information centres, print media in the future, internet and handheld devices,  b) How can experience providers be ready for the world of tourism in 5 years from now?, c) What are the first steps to take with helping an organization seeking to introduce experiental tourism for the first time ? and d) How can support organizations be more proactive in facilitating the development of their clients?

A podcast was done on the event and can be downloaded. Well worth listening to for the content and their answers. If you have a chance take this course in the fall.

Posted by: tourismvc | June 11, 2010

Watch, Listen, Learn – Celtic Heart of North America

Joanne MacIntyre and Jim Watson, both from NS Highland Village, Iona, Victoria County, telling a Gaelic Story at the Launch

Celtic Heart of North America officially launched its website   at  the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique with a ceilidh. The ceilidh showcased  some of the many unique experiences the Celtic Heart of North America co-op provides on Cape Breton Island. There was a square set,  a gaelic story, fiddle demonstrations, milling songs, a group performing with well known  fiddler Dawn Beaton, and much more. It ended of course with a lunch – a tradition.

The Celtic Heart website provides visitors with an opportunity to watch videos on our culture & experiences,  to listen to traditional piping and to learn to speak gaelic words. The website includes a calendar of events, experiences, packages, a trip planner and an e-newsletter. You can stay connected with Celtic Heart with facebook, twitter or our blog.   

Members of the Iona Gaelic Singers preformed three milling songs  that they would normally do at a milling frolic. What is a milling frolic – a cultural event in which gaelic singers sit around a table and beat a large loop of woolen cloth in rhythm with the song. The wool was softened after singing a number songs.  The milling frolic was and still is a great social event for the communities and you are always treated to a great lunch and a cup of tea afterwards…

Below is a short video of one of the songs Iona Gaelic Singers sang at the launch of Celtic Heart of North America.

Tourism  Australia has launched a new campaign based on experiences from fellow Australians. Australians were asked to share their photos and stories on their special  places and why visitors should come to visit this unique country.. Tourism Australia has been a leader in developing the Australian Experiences Industry  Toolkit  – Volume 1 – Adding Value to your Business (2007) and Volume 2 – Boosting your Bottomline ( 2008), so this campaign is important next step.

These experiences were shared on the new campaign website – “Nothing Like Australia”  to help visitors with trip planning.  How many experiences ?  29, 031 expeiences. I was a bit nervous when it said it was still loading….but it loaded quite fast…The new website uses google maps and flash very effectively ….but strangely the campaign does not include social media. 

I had also wished the “Nothing Like Australia ” website would have included more videos like CTC’s site –  It does have one video – their TV commerical – see below.   The new campaign was launched May 31, 2010.

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