|(c) 2011 www.wendyperrin.com|
On August 10, the European Travel Commission unveiled the first session of “Expert Forums,” a new social media initiative through visiteurope.com's Facebook page.
The monthly series will consist of hour-long chats, hosted live, aiming to educate and engage fans in web conversations about traveling to Europe. Participants are encouraged to post comments and questions on the page’s wall. In turn, the session’s guest travel expert will respond to submissions by posting comments and answers in real time.
Wendy Perrin, Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s director of consumer news and digital community, was the guest expert for the initial forum.
That afternoon, Perrin, also the author of magazine’s column, “The Perrin Report,” responded to roughly 25 questions from the general public. Inquiries ranged from suggestions on places to stay, shop and eat to finding off-the-beaten path options in destinations such as Munich, Venice, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, London and the south of France.
Other participants had questions that were a bit more specific. For a question on where Turkey may stand in terms of the luxury travel market, Perrin (who has been there three times) replied that the country has “a ton of super-comfortable hotels and fabulous food, so I think it’s in a strong position.”
A male participant headed for Monaco sought tips for getting the most for his money in Monte Carlo. Perrin, who last visited Monte Carlo in 1999, offered what she called her “biggest tip.” It was: “to take public transportation and, rather than go to sit-down restaurants with waiter service (which tend to be expensive), go to bars where you can grab snacks while standing and drinking, and to food markets to buy delicious provisions for picnics in the many gorgeous outdoor locales.”
Another participant planning her first trip to Europe next spring quizzed Perrin on what was her favorite European city to visit in May or June. “That is one tough question!,” Perrin wrote back, explaining that those months are a great time to be in so many European cities. “Perhaps look into which cities are having colorful local festivals during your travel window? (I love going to small local fairs, as you get the authentic flavor of a place.)”
With some answers, Perrin included weblinks to sites ranging from travel guides, to budget flights, to past Traveler articles and even to photos from her visit to Venice last week in response to a question about pricing gondola rides.
As of this writing, a date for the next monthly forum chat has not been set. However, fans of this page will receive an update when the date is finalized.
Visit www.facebook.com/visiteurope and click “Like.”