The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will explore the evolution of online social networking and its implications for the travel industry in a master class session to be held on Monday, October 22, 2007 at the 30th annual Caribbean Tourism Conference, held this year in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Some 600 delegates from throughout the tourism industry will gather from October 19 - 24 under the theme of “The Next Generation: Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future.”
Since the dot.com bubble burst in 2001, the Web has evolved into what is now known as “Web.2.0” with an emphasis on users communicating and interacting with other like-minded people through the near instantaneous sharing of information. This evolution has not only had a social impact on how users communicate, but also a dramatic impact on global commerce. Attendees at the conference, will have the opportunity to learn how best to enhance their brand awareness and improve the customer experience through the myriad social networking sites.
Jeff Cohen, vice president of marketing for eVital Communications will moderate the master class panel discussion. eVital has developed unique web application platforms for streaming rich interactive media over the Internet. Other experts on the panel will include:
Karin Nijhuis, director of Interimair, an Internet consultancy in The Netherlands and a consultant to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Les Ottolenghi, chief executive officer of Digital Commerce based in Atlanta, Georgia
Graham McKenzie, managing director of TravelMole in the UK, the largest online community for the travel and tourism industry.
“With the ever expanding and changing online community, it is important for tourism professionals to stay up to date on best practices, terminology and underlying concepts behind social networking sites,” said Hugh Riley, the CTO’s director of marketing for the Americas. “This master class will help our destinations and travel partners take advantage of emerging trends and technology.”