The Tourism Currents team shares decades of knowledge and experience in social media, destination marketing, and tourism partner attractions, hotels, and businesses.
Since launching Tourism Currents in September 2009, original co-founders Becky and Sheila built a wealth of information about social media for destination marketing into a comprehensive online course and always-updated knowledge bank. Leslie brings her own decades of expertise as a small business/small town marketing consultant with Just A Small Town Girl.
These days, Sheila and Leslie are the “day to day” Tourism Currents training team.
Becky is focused on rural entrepreneurship, the SaveYour.Town downtown revitalization project, her Small Biz Survival website for small businesses in small towns, and being a speaker with a positive view of rural issues. Her strategic guidance and sensible approach to adult learning, however, are still an important part of the special sauce at Tourism Currents.
How It Started: Two Women Have an Idea
Becky and Sheila met, online of course, through “open mic” night on Liz Strauss’ Successful Blog. They met in person for the first time at the 2008 South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) tech conference, and their common interests developed into a friendship almost immediately.
In 2008, both attended Liz’s SOBcon (Successful Online Businesses, now called GeniusShared) conference. The following year, Becky came to SOBcon armed with a notebook full of possible business ideas, including a travel/tourism/social media education project she hoped to collaborate on with Sheila.
The Power to Reach Visitors Worldwide
Becky was tired of watching small towns struggle. She understood that social media was a powerful way for any town or tourism partner to compete and reach out globally, but first they had to learn how to do it. Sheila knew that both consumer and business travel media was shifting from print to online, so they combined forces and started thinking about how they could teach what they knew to others.
They decided to develop online learning materials that would help tourism and hospitality professionals put powerful social media channels to work for their destination, attraction, or hotel.
Social Media: Much More Than Random “Chatting”
The focus throughout this educational process is not on generic explanations of the social network tools, but on the application of those tools to destination or hospitality marketing.
For example, instead of a generic “this is Twitter” lesson, Sheila and Leslie take it one step further and show how to reach a network of people through Twitter, who can promote your destination.
One of the biggest roadblocks they also heard about was a “lack of time” to learn about digital destination marketing, so the Tourism Currents lessons were made to be both a self-paced course, and an always-updated knowledge bank that customers can return to again and again to get answers and solve problems.