TIA, HSMAI plan social media report

Working together to focus on emerging topics of importance to travel marketers, the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the Travel Industry Association (TIA) have partnered to produce a comprehensive educational report titled: The Travel Marketer’s Guide to Social Media and Social Networking.

The report was researched and written by renowned industry author Cindy Estis Green, managing partner of The Estis Group.  For the report, Estis interviewed travel executives, vendors, and experts from various social media sites.  Additionally, executives from non-travel industries that have a strong background in the use of social media were interviewed.  Case studies and results from travel executive polls are also featured.

Topics covered in the report include:

á    Explanations and definitions of social media and social networking

á    Highlights of the way social media and social networking are used in other industries

á    How travel companies are using social media and social networking in 2007

á    How travel companies can use social media and social networking in the future

“The rapidly evolving online travel world waits for nobody,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, President and Chief Executive Officer of HSMAI.  “This is a timely, critical and invaluable report that will offer information, ideas and expertise for using and understanding online sources.”

“From networking through virtual communities like Second Life to social sites like MySpace and Facebook to travel-specific social networks such as TripAdvisor and IgoUgo, it is imperative that today’s travel marketers know where their potential customers are going on the Internet and what they are looking to accomplish once they get there,” said Dr. Suzanne D. Cook, TIA’s Senior Vice President of Research.


In the report, Estis examines the context for Social Media and Social Networking, including the proliferation of distribution channels, the role of community, the global view from the CEO’s perspective and the new “conversation economy.”  She also covers the applications for social media such as podcasts, videos, photos, consumer reviews, blogs, voting, tagging, bookmarks and wikis - all used to support the marketing strategies that harness social networks.

The report expands on some of the strategies that are deployed through social network marketing including customer engagement, building brand equity, influence management, consumer and competitive intelligence and product development.  Supported by industry statistics, demographics and illustrated with dozens of case studies and examples, the topic is clearly mapped out for the travel industry marketer.

The report is scheduled to be released at the HSMAI Hotel Sales Strategy Conference in Washington, D.C. at the Washington D.C. Convention Center on Sept. 4, 2007, as well as at TIA’s Marketing Outlook Forum, being held in Charlotte, NC from Oct. 22 - 25, 2007.  The cost to purchase the report is $99 for TIA or HSMAI members and $149 for non-members. Sponsorship opportunities are available and multiple quantities of the report may be purchased at a special pre-publication price.