Does part of your destination marketing include trying to attract “leaf-peepers” — visitors who particularly enjoy traveling to see autumn foliage? (Soon I hope to visit the Lost Maples area here in Texas for those pretty reds and yellows.)
Why not steal a page from one of the latest uses for Twitter – roving location/update reports from food trucks, like this insanely popular Korean BBQ truck in Los Angeles – and use social media tools to provide timely reports of leaf color for your location.
Some area color displays change very quickly in the fall, and prospective visitors may make last-minute travel plans based on the most timely and complete reports.
The weekly color updates that many tourism Web sites offer are nice, and many have elaborate whiz-bang display interfaces, but that seems a slow and clunky way to make these reports in 2009 (plus it means you have to wait on your Webmaster to do all the work.)
Use the social Web to your advantage!
Some locations and regions already have foliage blogs, like Yankee magazine’s New England Foliage Blog or Oregon tourism’s Fall Foliage Report blog, but it would be even easier and faster to use Twitter for quick updates by your staff out on the road.
In fact, Oregon is already there with their @ORFallFoliage Twitter stream. Good for them!
Any of your staffers with halfway well-equipped cell phones can snap photos when they’re out and about, and then send them in from the mobile device straight to TwitPic or YFrog for posting on Twitter.
I did this myself with an absolutely ancient Samsung flip phone, using it to take a photo of a bougainvillea plant in my back yard and then email it, from the phone, to a special email address that links to my TwitPic account.
- Here is what the tweet looks like, with the TwitPic link embedded, emailed to TwitPic from my phone.
- Here is what the photo looks like on its specific page on my TwitPic account (every photo has a URL.)
What about it, tourism gurus? Why or why not is this a good idea for your organization? Your comments below are welcomed.