Blog World Expo

Bringing Tourism and Social Media Together

Tourism Currents and BlogWorld & New Media Expo


What will 2012 bring?

We’re talking with the BlogWorld team to bring you another amazing Tourism Track in 2012. You may have heard that BlogWorld has acquired TBEX: The Travel Blog Exchange Conference. That’s exciting news, and brings more travel content creators to the table with BlogWorld. As the news continues to unfold, we’ll be making announcements right here about dates, times, speakers and all the cool stuff for the Tourism Track.

Missed the 2011 event? Get a Virtual Ticket

This year, BlogWorld & New Media Expo has totally revamped their “BlogWorldExpo Virtual Ticket” program — enough to make the Virtual Ticket an experience in and of itself, even for people who attend the actual conference. It includes not only the tourism sessions listed here, but also over 100 additional sessions.

Check out the BlogWorldExpo Virtual Ticket program.

Tourism Pros Are Your Speakers

Becky McCray, Ann Peavey of Seattle Visitor Center, and Sheila Scarborough lead participants through an interactive session on social media for tourism. Photo by Kenneth Yeung

Becky McCray of Tourism Currents, Ann Peavey of Seattle Visitor Center, and Sheila Scarborough of Tourism Currents lead participants through an interactive session on social media for tourism in 2010. Photo by Kenneth Yeung

You don’t have to endure generic presentations, wondering how this applies to you in tourism. All your speakers are actual tourism and hospitality professionals, working in the field.

Our speakers for 2011 were:

  • Caroline Bean, National Media Relations / Social Media at Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation.

Caroline Bean, Philadelphia (courtesy J. Graham for GPTMC)Caroline is the national media relations/social media manager at the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC). She joined GPTMC in 2003 and quickly rose from public relations coordinator to her current position, focusing on travel and lifestyle media relations and social media initiatives.

At the helm of GPTMC’s social media efforts, she has helped the organization grow its Web properties – including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Philly Foodspotting – and works to integrate a well-rounded social media strategy into every campaign. Bean is also part of a communications team that has won 45 industry awards.


  • Shanna Smith Snyder, Director of Communication at Abilene (Texas) Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Shanna Smith Snyder, Abilene (Texas) CVBShanna currently manages all social media platforms for the ACVB, including The Abilene InSite blog and the ‘Twisitor’ Center. She also assists with PR and advertising efforts, as well as manages special projects and campaigns. She currently writes weekly tourism columns for several publications and promotes community happenings on a weekly segment for local NBC affiliate – KRBC news.

Shanna’s social media work for the ACVB won two ADDY awards and a Statesman Texas Social Media Award. She also recently received the Texas Travel Industry Association Rising Star Award and was named one of Abilene’s Top 20 Under 40.


Doug Anweiler, Authentic Seacoast ResortsDoug leads the development of one of Nova Scotia’s leading travel brands, the Authentic Seacoast Resorts. With more than two decades of executive experience in branding, marketing and communications, Doug’s social media work has been recognized globally with the Authentic Seacoast Resorts included in the Top 50 Online Travel Influencers and the Top 25 Most Influential Tourist Boards and DMOs Online.

In 2010 the Authentic Seacoast Resorts received the Tourism Atlantic Technology Award from the Government of Canada for their use of social media. Doug was moderator of the Travel PR panel in the Travel Track at Blog World & New Media Expo in 2009 and was profiled by the Travel Online Partners in the article “Remarkable Tourism Makes the World a Better Place”.


Leslie McLellan, Lake Arrowhead CA ChamberLeslie has been marketing tourism entities and small business for nearly 3 decades.  Her specialty is helping those with small marketing budgets be competitive with “the big dogs.” As Director of Marketing and Tourism for Lake Arrowhead, Leslie was one of the first to prove the ROI of social media marketing.

Spending not a dime on traditional advertising for 2 years, she successfully marketed Lake Arrowhead solely via social media from 2009 through 2010 and was able to track the increased ROI based on transient occupancy tax collected.

Leslie offers small budget marketing insight and tips on her blog – Just a Small Town Girl.


Brian Matson, Fargo-Moorhead CVBBrian has been with the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau for over 7 years.

As Marketing Director he handles all the print, radio, TV and online campaigns promoting Fargo-Moorhead as a destination for leisure travelers, conventions, events, tours and sports tournaments.

Brian is also co-founder of Echelon Media, a consultant company specializing in online marketing techniques and social media strategies.  He is a self-described “news junkie” and lover of all things considered “techie.”

  • Bill Karz, Director, Online Marketing at LA INC., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bill Karz with LA, Inc.An LA native who began his career with LA INC. five years ago in the capacity of Staff Editor, Bill has consistently been discovering new ways to engage readers – and more specifically web visitors – by introducing the bureau to modern online marketing and social media strategies.

Since assuming the role of Online Marketing Director, Bill has grown LA INC.’s Facebook fanbase to 350,000 fans and integrated community and member outreach programs with the social space. These programs include social media member events and cultural photo and video tours for the LA community.

These speakers know the real world of destination marketing, and they excel at using social media and online marketing.

There is no one better to learn from.

Register Now

Pick up a Virtual Ticket. (Remember, the Virtual Ticket includes 100+ sessions, including all the travel and tourism sessions.)

Tourism Topics with Real World Uses

(Updated:  On the BlogWorld website – the Tourism/Travel track details page.)

Here is who will talk about what, and when…..

**  Social Photography: A Picture is Worth 140 Characters

Whether it’s food, architecture, people or attractions that best represent your destination, a photo is the most simple and effective way of promoting it via social media. Learn best practices in social photo sharing (including Foodspotting and photowalks) then try it yourself in an interactive forum.


Caroline Bean, National Media Relations / Social Media at Greater Philadelphia (PA) Tourism Marketing Corporation

Bill Karz, Director, Online Marketing at LA INC / Los Angeles (CA) Convention & Visitors Bureau

**  Budget? What Budget? One-Person Social Media Marketing with Zero Money

Are you a single-person marketing department who is operating on a shoestring, yet you still want your destination, attraction, lodging or restaurant to be discovered and visited by travelers? Here’s how to do it with the same 24 hour day that the “big boys” have.


Doug Anweiler, Vice President at Authentic Seacoast Resorts, Nova Scotia, Canada

Leslie McLellan, Director of Marketing and Tourism for Lake Arrowhead, CA

**  You May Not Win an Oscar, But Your Videos Won’t Stink, Either

Ready to start, or up your game, in online video? Learn what sort of basic equipment you’ll need, how to handle lighting and audio, how to “think like a videographer” with storyboarding and visual storytelling tips, and finally how video can rock your SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) Some hands-on time will be included for you to practice.


Brian Matson, Marketing Director at Fargo (ND) – Moorhead (MN) Convention & Visitors Bureau

**  Fitting It All In: How to Integrate Social Media Campaigns with Your Overall Marketing Strategy

Short-term social media campaigns are a lot of wheel-spinning unless they are designed to meld with and support an overall strategy and larger goals. Don’t get caught up in the unfocused pursuit of Facebook Page Likes and Twitter followers; let’s discuss how tactics/short campaigns can support your entire marketing effort, digital and non-digital.


Shanna Smith Snyder, Director of Communication at Abilene (TX) Convention & Visitors Bureau


Register Now

Pick up a Virtual Ticket. (Remember, the Virtual Ticket includes 100+ sessions, including all the travel and tourism sessions.)

Is It Right for You?

Participants at the 2010 BlogWorld Tourism Track

Participants at the 2010 BlogWorld Tourism Track. Photo by Becky McCray.

Who can best benefit from the Tourism track? Staff members, volunteers or board members at:

  • Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus, Destination Marketing Organizations
  • Chambers of Commerce, Main Street and Downtown Development Associations
  • Bed and breakfasts, inns, lodges, hotels and motels, resorts
  • Conference and convention centers, trade shows, festival and event planners
  • State and city governments that do marketing and outreach related to tourism
  • Marketing and Public Relations professionals who do tourism work
  • Historic preservation, heritage trails, historic highways and scenic byways
  • Tourism and hospitality professors and students at colleges and universities
  • Attractions, museums, parks, agritourism, gardens and nature preserves
  • Niches like culinary, arts, culture, sports, adventure and educational travel

Register Now

Pick up a Virtual Ticket. (Remember, the Virtual Ticket includes 100+ sessions, including all the travel and tourism sessions.)

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