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18. Februar 2010

European Travel Commission ETC im Interview – Wie man das Thema Social Media für den Tourismus in Europa umsetzt

Vor einigen Wochen schon habe ich Nicholas Raymond Hall zum Thema “Social Media Einsatz bei der ETC” interviewt. Hier das komplette Interview in englischer Sprache:

DA: Would you explain me the online strategy of the ETC in five sentences?

NRH: ETC’s online strategy includes a multi-pronged approach in recognising the importance of social communities amongst today’s web users. The primary tool for promoting Europe will remain the destination portal visiteurope.com, however, this site is no longer the only tool used by ETC.

We recognise that many users spend all of their online time within one or two communities and therefore we must also be present in the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, as well as in smaller communities reaching out to affinity groups. We have also worked to integrate these communities directly in the site through the new ‘Share’ section.

This year’s campaigns will seek to engage and create a dialogue with social communities and will reward followers or fans for their loyalty with sweepstakes and give-aways.

Our strategy focuses on long-haul traffic to Europe, where we aim to inspire and give practical planning information, handing visitors over to our member National Tourism Organisations when appropriate. The new site is 100% pan-European and promotes multi-country travel across the continent.

How is ETC currently integrating Social Media in its website and in its online strategy? Why is ETC integrating Social Media in its website / onlinestrategy?

NRH: We are integrating Social Media directly through the Share section of the site. This includes a selection of Flickr photo galleries featuring both user photo communities and galleries from National Tourism Organisations. Also, a Facebook fanbox shows the latest posts from our Facebook page and a live Twitter feed shows the latest tweets from twenty active National Tourism Organisations on twitter. We also encourage users to share their experience by posting trips in the ‘Share/itineraries’ section.

We will be using Social Media in this year’s Spring campaigns, giving prizes to our most loyal followers and contributors. The viral effect of this strategy should offer a better return on investment.

Is ETC doing Social Media Monitoring?

NRH: We have a responsibility to monitor what is posted by users online, however we do not have a policy of censorship. It is important to exercise restraint when removing or editing posts, as this is generally frowned upon by users.

When a post is offensive or expresses strong political views we have to remove it as it has nothing to do with tourism.

What do you / ETC think about community management in tourism?

NRH: ‘Community Management’ is a relatively new term and has arisen with the rise of the social web. There is no set guideline on Community Management however ETC and its members generally learn from their own experiences and the experiences of others.

Generally speaking, ourselves and our members recognise the positive value that can be had by engaging with the community, even if it means responding to negative comments. Trip Advisor has been a perfect example of this where hoteliers are now responding directly to bad reviews posted on the site.

What is the long term social media strategy of ETC?

To be active amongst the most important social communities and seek to integrate these communities back into the site. Recognise the value of loyalty and don’t be afraid of failure – not every profile will be a success! Users are fickle and will quickly move on so it is important to keep abreast of new sites and communities.

Do you think Social Media might be important for tourism? Why? When?

NRH: Social Media is already important for tourism. It is about users sharing their personal experiences and peer recommendation – which is what travel is all about.

Peer recommendation is often more valued than the ‘official’ recommendations and our job as destination marketeers is to find a balance somewhere between the two, recognising the importance of both.

With users sharing their experiences with the rest of the world, this can only have a positive effect on the industry. It is important that we embrace these exciting new media developments and take a keen interest in what’s still to come.

And if you’re interested….

NRH: As any good marketeer, we have a keen interest in the latest trends and habits of users. We have extended our own reporting to include interactions amongst social media but also pay attention to what others are doing. ETC has an annual e-Business Academy event where professionals from across the industry come to share knowledge and best practice with each other. Social Media now dominates the agenda with important speakers from important online players, giving valuable insights from their own experiences. Complimenting this, ETC has it’s own New Media Trend Watch website (newmediatrendwatch.com), providing up-to-date research and analysis.

Thanks for the Interview!

Das ganze Portal Visiteurope hat übrigens stolze 2 Millionen Euro gekostet – ganz schön viel für den Funktionsumfang, den es bietet bzw. nicht bietet. Ganz offen gefragt interessiert es mich sehr, warum dieses Portal so teuer war, und wo die Kosten entstanden sind. Im Themenbereich Social media spielt das ETC zwar die wichtigsten Grunddiszplinen mit, von innovativ (so wie bei zb. austria.info) kann man hier aber durchaus nicht sprechen, so meine Meinung.

VG Daniel

Daniel Amersdorffer

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European Travel Commission ETC im Interview – Wie man das Thema Social Media für den Tourismus in Europa umsetzt

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