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.

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