The rising stock of Twitter and Facebook as valuable business assets is a surprise to nobody, but just how big of a role they play may be overlooked. Australia, which is currently going through a tourism slump due to the global economic downturn and the swine flu epidemic, is getting a bit of help from social networking giants Twitter and Facebook.
The managing director of Tourism Australia, Geoff Buckley, asserts that Twitter and Facebook are helping to pull the Australian tourism industry through the recession. “Tourism Australia’s activities on Twitter and Facebook are connecting people around the world who have visited Australia and getting them to share their experiences with a community of travelers who are equally passionate about our country.”
The Facebook page, in particular, has over 250,000 fans and is growing in number by roughly 1,000 daily. Though some of those members are Australian, it is they who provide the strongest ambassadorial voice as to why prospective travelers should come to Australia. The word-of-mouth of the Australian locals as well as those who have travelled to Australia serves as powerful persuasion to people on why they should choose to make Australia their next vacation destination.
These testimonials are especially important for the Hospitality and Travel Industry. While sites like VirtualTourist provide an area for members to offer their reviews on various hotels, eateries, and recreations, it is difficult to get a sense of the travel experience as a whole. Twitter and Facebook provide a more digestible means for prospective tourists to hear from the locals and travel vets alike, as well as an easy channel for a dialogue if those prospective tourists have any questions. The success Tourism Australia is having could translate to Twitter and Facebook gaining a larger role in the Hospitality and Travel Industry.