May 9, 2013
Travel brands give social media sharers a hand
As more travelers chart their trips on social media, travel companies are making tweeting, Instagramming and posting easier and more automatic. Sydney’s Luna Park was a forerunner, launching “My Experience” in 2011. As we explained at the time, visitors who buy an Unlimited Rides Pass receive wristbands that they register online using a smartphone or computer; these can be scanned at ride exits to launch a Facebook status update (choosing from several options) or used to post ride photographs in real time. Spain’s Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel lets guests share their clubbing experience on Facebook by scanning RFID-enabled wristbands at kiosks around the venue; the hotel is planning an upgrade that will rely on fingerprint recognition.
For the 2013 U.S. presidential inauguration, the Loews Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C., got a lot of buzz for offering a package that included a social media butler to keep guests’ online profiles updated (ultimately the package failed to sell, according to Politico). More broadly, hotels and theme parks are selling sessions with professional photographers. Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Resort in Antigua, offers a two-hour photo session for couples, as The Wall Street Journal has reported. Vail Resorts gives guests digital copies of ski photos expressly for social media (while still charging for high-quality prints), and a chip embedded in lift tickets lets skiers automatically upload photos to social networks.
For more Things to Watch and trends in travel, see our latest report here.