It's hardly news to say that social media is a powerful coin for the travel industry, but it's always fascinating to see how industry insiders are coming up with new ways to take advantage of the different platforms.
As one example, the Chicago Business Journal is reporting that the European Travel Commission has created a social media campaign called "MyPassport2Europe" that will run through the month of August. Eurail.com, an online sales channel that specializes in European rail passes, is also part of the initiative, which is geared to boost education about Europe for the traveler and gather information about what potential visitors want to know for the industry.
This is not the first time the ETC has taken to social media to spread its message, however: The "New Media Trend Watch" initiative, was created to gather information on trends in internet usage by tourism consumers across the world. "The internet has revolutionised the way in which consumers make their travel decisions," the ETC explains on its website. "Web-based marketing campaigns have become an increasingly important means of promoting destinations and tourism services. Social networking websites provide forums for tourists to discuss the places they have visited. More and more people are booking online."
The website attached to the new social campaign is designed to help both Orbitz and the ETC learn what North American-based travelers want to know about Europe as a whole and about its individual countries. The ETC plans to promote the new campaign through various social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
The project is part of the Destination Europe 2020 strategy, a join initiative between the European Commission and the ETC to involve the entire tourism industry in defining a long-term strategy for Europe as a tourism destination.