What type of travel photographer are you?

Please take a two minutes survey about Online Travel Photo Sharing

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What type of travel photograper are you

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Social Media and Tourism in Protected Areas

Last Friday we had a workshop about European Ecotourism issues. I had a talk about my experience in Social Media and Tourism in Protected Areas, here it is:

Aivar Ruukel, Connection between social media and tourism in protected areas. from Aivar Ruukel on Vimeo.

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How to Start Using Flickr for Tourism Marketing (Part 1)

You are not Flickr user yet, but you have certainly heard of this global online photo sharing and management site owned by Yahoo! Tens of millions people use Flickr around the world, which makes it the most popular among all photo sites.

Flickr is widely used by destination marketers and tourism businesses, and travellers alike. Take a simple test, go to Flickr Search and type the name of your destination or attraction. You will get hundreds, maybe thousands photos. Those photos are taken by people who already have been in your place, and who have liked it so much, that they share their stories with friends and the rest of the world. These people are your volunteer marketers! It is wonderful, isn’t it?

This is first, and highly important reason, why you should start using Flickr – to take care of your online ambassadors, who are passionate about your destination, connect to them and engage. Other good reasons for using Flickr might be:

  • raising awareness of your tourism destination using photos
  • enhancing information about attractions, activities, events
  • creating online library of you photos for easy browse, view and download for your partners and media
  • crowdsourcing user generated photos for using on your website

We will discuss more about these issues in coming weeks. But now let’s look 5 first steps on How to start using Flickr?

1) create your account by signing up here. You will get a Yahoo account which is also your Flickr account. If you already have a Yahoo account you can just use it. A confirmation message will be sent to you via email. Verify it by clicking a link in the email message and so you have created your account. You can learn how to use some other Yahoo services if you wish so, or just continue with Flickr.

2) Second step is to choose your Flickr screen name, why not to choose your real name? It can be also your business name or your place. You can change it later, whenever you wish.

3) Now you will personalize your profile, all this can be edited later. Upload your buddy icon from your computer, it can be changed in future.

4) More critical step is to choose your custom Flickr URL. This can’t be changed later, so think twice and choose wisely! It will be your Flickr address so think similar way when you choose domain name for your website. It can be the name of your brand or your destination or something else, a word that you might be interest to be found when people search on the web.

5) Now it is time to use Flickr to find out what other people are saying about your destination and/or your tourism business. Find the photos that help to tell your story. Favourite some pictures that you like by clicking “Favorite” on top left of the photo, it is same as “liking” on Facebook.

Write some comments, be generous. This the way to get connected and start relationship with people on social photo sharing site.

In next post we will look how to upload your own pictures to Flickr and promote them.

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3 Ways How Tourism DMOs Are Using Flickr

I had a fun exercise yesterday – to have a look how the national tourism organizations of European countries are using Flickr, the most important photo hosting and sharing site on the Web.

Two things that I have learned:
1. Most of European DMOs are using Flickr.
2. There are 3 ways, how the “granddaddy” of social photo-sharing sites is used

Here are these three ways of using Flickr by DMOs:

1) Simplest way is to create a branded DMO account and upload pictures, that marketing organization has bought the user rights. This first level involves organizing pictures in albums on most important themes, seasons, attractions and touristic values of country.

It is the “one way” communication. Almost nobody of 80 million Flickr users is commenting on these pictures. In fact this tactic does not involve an ambition to talk with audience, build a community and engage with them. Anyway, this basic level of Flickr usage is a first step, and better than not using Flickr at all.

Some of the DMOs practicing the basic way of using Flickr include Finland, Swizerland,
BulgariaAustria.

Flickr VisitFinland

2) Second level and a much better way of using Flickr is to create a group. This approach involves crowdsourcing photos of happy tourists, by inviting users of Flickr to add relevant photos to the group created and managed by DMO.

Some of the best practice of Flickr usage include NorwayGreece, Malta.

Flickr VisitGreece

3) The way people use social web is changing rapidly. Wales national tourism organization has started a project ShareWales, which takes the best practice of Flickr usage to next level. It includes crowdsourcing, community building and a systematic approach to tagging (see Style Guide below)
The Visit Wales/Share Wales Tagging Guide

The most revolutionary aspect of Wales Tourist Organization initiative is the ambition to train the many businesses and organisations around Wales and “move them from relative eBusiness immaturity to being firmly in the digital age”.

I am following with greatest excitement the story of ShareWales.

Do you use Flickr?
What do you think of the different possibilities of using it?

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Responsible Tourism Week begins in 5 days

Already 4th year Planeta.com hosts Responsible Tourism Week – #rtweek2012 . It is a free, one-week unconference exploring down-to-earth applications of noble concepts including responsible tourism, conscious travel, the local travel movement and ecotourism with effective and inexpensive social media.

Responsible Tourism Week takes place February 13-19 o n l i n e !

Do you think to take part of it?

vastutustundlik turism nädal

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Trips of 2011

There was lot of travelling in 2011, I hope will be less in 2012

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Facebook Spammers

Janet, Angel and Grey … no way!
Can one get some nasty viruses trough Facebook?

hi your profile is cool

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7 cool content curation tools

Getting ready for Responsible Tourism Week and testing some great and new (for me) tools that allow to curate content on the web.

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Looking back to 2011 with Storify

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First day of 2012

Some images of the first day in 2012.

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