[Note: I am not getting paid to promote anyone or any organization on this post. However, I do have to thank Ron Mader at Planeta.com for his online presentation, Global Workshop for Indigenous and Local Communities, as it sparked an interest in researching about indigenous travel.]
In an effort to learn more about the current state of affairs in the travel industry, I decided to search online for free resources regarding responsible tourism and social media in the travel industry. The World Travel Market 2012 was a good place to view online archived presentations that had occurred within the last 24 hours. The website has a “WTM TV” header that links to presentations ranging from social media basics and tech trends to activity/adventure/sports tourism trends. Once I saw all of the variety of topics available, I assumed since this was a corporate based audience that they would offer either 20 seconds of online viewing, or charge an astronomical fee. To my surprise, most of the presentations were no shorter in length than 20 minutes and the average was around 40 minutes. I was very pleased.
Since I am new to social media, I did learn a fair amount about overall trends like:
1) the importance of a mobile presence since the statistics are off the charts re: future mobile travel search and bookings.
2)But, here’s a refreshing change–one expert said to the audience of travel businesses that it was paramount to seek and hire travel bloggers to deliver on the SEO benefit of using social media. But, most importantly,
3) subjects that I am very interested in like indigenous travel, responsible travel, conscious travel were mentioned under the heading of ‘adventure travel’. A few of the adventure travel speakers commented on the importance of creating healthy relationships with indigenous local businesses
not just because it delivers ROI, but because it is the right thing to do. Paying fair wages, respecting healthy conditions for indigenous workers, respecting the environment are not just peripheral afterthoughts, but central beliefs in any successful travel business model.
In future posts, I will talk about other virtual presentations re: indigenous travel, responsible travel, conscious travel.