Twitter will be usued to promote island’s tourism industry
SYDNEY — The body that represents Cape Breton tourism operators plans to fully embrace social media as part of its strategy in promoting the island to visitors.
Destination Cape Breton Association and representatives of 14 private and public sector groups from Cape Breton travelled to Montreal last week to attend two social media conferences — Online Reveal and E-Connect Canada. There, they learned about online marketing and distribution, and social networking though media such as Twitter.
“Probably what was most exciting was very much a two-fold approach,” said Mary Tulle, who was recently named CEO of Destination Cape Breton. “One was to realize just the absolute power of the social media elements and it’s really our potential and our future visitors being able to spread the word on our behalf of how great Cape Breton Island is. The second was to take this entire new approach to developing or enhancing the existing website into a 2010 world leader website in partnership or in conjunction with a social media program.”
Among the groups represented at the conferences were Enterprise Cape Breton Corp., the island’s municipalities, ICON Communications and the Celtic Heart of North America Co-operative
A new technology committee has been formed. Tulle said it will work to flesh out what the partners learned individually and work together as they look to develop a request for proposals for a new website, with a focus on social media.
“(It’s) not taking away anything that has already been done, but having a central portal that really tells the story for any visitor looking for any experience that’s offered here,” Tulle said.
She noted the city of Montreal, for example, abandoned all traditional forms of advertising last year, and used social media instead.
Locally, this summer they are planning to roll out a program where students will tweet from all festivals and events that they attend around Cape Breton to all visitor information sessions.
“In doing that, they’ll also be able to create their own following to visitors here or to potential visitors coming so that the goal, obviously, is to have everyone experience a whole lot more of Cape Breton and hopefully extend their length of time that they plan on being here,” Tulle said.
Destination Cape Breton plans on sharing what they’ve learned with operators who weren’t able to attend the conference.
Tulle will soon visit all municipalities to have informal town hall sessions to let them know what the association is planning and get an idea of what operators are doing, so that they can learn from each other.