How destinations market themselves as social media grows in importance will be a key topic at WTM London 2017, the leading global event for the travel industry.
The issue will come under the spotlight for two days of the event on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 November, when panel discussions and a keynote speaker will feature during the Social Media programme at WTM London, organised by Travel Perspective.
Marketing professionals will not want to miss a key session on the WTM Global Stage, when a panel will discuss the question ‘Is influencer marketing the way forward for destinations?’ Social media expert and former Times journalist Steve Keenan will chair the discussion. Among those on the panel will be key figures from social media marketing specialists Whalar, Qubist and Dash Hudson. The discussion takes place on Wednesday November 8 and runs from 14.05 to 15.00.
This will be followed immediately by another session that looks at the topic from a different angle. ‘Why destinations have to change how they sell themselves’ will examine how Airbnb and Visit Sweden have worked together to promote the country. Additionally, Visit Jersey will describe how video content is now used to accompany and illustrate accommodation and package tour offers.
The panel will also show how Airbnb has launched Trips, which encourages accommodation owners to turn tour guide. The session will ask if this new collaborative model is the way forward.
The discussion will be moderated by author, journalist and social media consultant Mark Frary and will include speakers from Visit Sweden, Visit Jersey, Airbnb and Cape Town Tourism.
A keynote session the day before, on Monday November 6, will see a face-to-face interview with Travelocity founder Terry Jones. Jones will talk on how Artificial Intelligence will become more important for the industry and how to use it to innovate. Jones, who will be interviewed by Mark Frary, was also involved in the launch of Kayak and is currently chairman of Wayblazer, a company already using Artificial Intelligence to disrupt the traditional travel market.
Face to face with Terry Jones takes place on the WTM Global Stage, 14.00 to 14.50.
WTM London, Conference & Seminar Manager, Charlotte Alderslade, said: “Social media has already impacted travel in an enormous way and Artificial Intelligence will have an increasingly large impact in the years to come, so these sessions are a must for any marketeer.”
The programme also includes sessions on how social media can help World Heritage sites manage tourism sustainably and how to grow a personal brand as a vlogger; plus Facebook comes under scrutiny in a live interview.
The two days culminate in the Best of Social Media 2017 awards, with five finalists, a judging panel and an audience vote to find the Awesome Winner 2017.