Posts Tagged ‘tourism boards’

Social Media Initiative for Tourism Sector

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Fergal and Laughlin Rigby launching on Sandymount Strand, Dublin to showcase Ireland to Tweeters and Social Networkers!

With last week’s report from the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation predicting tourism sector recovery could take up to five years, the launch today (Tuesday 27th July 2010) of a unique new social media platform, free to Irish tourism businesses, will be welcome news for both tourists and the industry. is a social media travel website that allows the public to browse videos, images, social media feeds, and the latest offers and updates from individual Irish tourism businesses, in one single location.  The innovative website provides consumers with a simple platform for planning a holiday in Ireland, and gives businesses, such as restaurants, B&Bs, hotels, visitor attractions, pubs, and self-catering properties, the opportunity to reach a worldwide audience, via a very useful social media travel site.

Registration with is free of charge and, so far, over 100 Irish businesses have signed-up, even before the official industry launch.  The new all-Ireland website, which is a first-of-its-kind in the travel industry worldwide, is the brainchild of Irish brothers, Laughlin and Fergal Rigby.  Laughlin Rigby is a former Internet Marketing Manager for Tourism Ireland, and Fergal Rigby previously worked as an eCommerce consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Fergal Rigby, co-founder, says the new website is an extremely simple, but effective, concept that will change how Irish tourism businesses market themselves online.

‘The past year has seen thousands of tourism businesses dip their toe in social media by tweeting, writing facebook updates, and creating low-cost films for youtube.  The industry is ready to embrace social media and we’re confident that can help them.’

Businesses choose a customised URL on, and the company is already advising businesses to register early, to secure ownership of the particular name they require.  The team can also create and set-up profile accounts for business owners who don’t have a website or much knowledge of social media.  A unique feature of the website is the ability of owners to also recommend other local businesses, providing the user with peer-to-peer recommendations. already has nearly 7,000 tourism related followers on Twitter, and the Rigby brothers are planning some major enhancements in the near future, including user itineraries and iphone applications.  The aim of the business is to put at the forefront of social media development in the travel industry, both in Ireland and internationally.

Commenting on the launch of, Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s Chief Executive, said: “In the current difficult climate, it is great to see this new website developed by the Rigby brothers, which will showcase the island of Ireland and the breadth of great places to stay, things to see and do, to a wide audience of potential holidaymakers across the globe.  We know that tourists are increasingly reliant on the internet and social media sites to inspire and inform them about their holiday choices.”

The new company aims to employ at least 10 people in Ireland, by the end of the first year, with the business expanding to the U.K. and U.S. markets by then also.  Laughlin, a two-time Golden Spider Award winner, says ‘Ireland is the perfect place to build an internet company, with an educated workforce and a supportive start-up environment.  We have had a fantastic reaction to the concept of a social media platform for travel, so do feel we can take on the biggest and best dot-coms in the world.’

Rigby goes on to say, ‘the Irish tourism industry has consistently shown itself to be one of the most innovative, creative and flexible in the world, willing to experiment with new ideas and models.  The tourism sector does need to work harder than ever to secure market share in the current economic climate, so we’re hoping that anyone promoting a festival, venue, business or accommodation in Ireland will sign up for free, straight away, on’

- Ends -

For further information:

Laughlin Rigby,

Call: (+353) 1 44 333 65

Travel and Hospitality Industry Rush to Embrace Social Media.

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

In less than 2 weeks in January 2010, over 17 travel, tourism and hospitality businesses have announced they are using social media in their marketing campaigns.  From Mexico to Limerick, from SMEs to NTOs, travel companies are waking up to the promotional power of social media.

A short global study by Travelshake Social Media identified 17 progressive organisations in the travel and hospitality industry using social media in their marketing campaigns, some of them making it the central platform for their 2010 marketing campaigns.  (The research ran from the 7Th Jan to the 19th January 2010.)

The information on the organisations, what they are doing and how to find out more is all listed below:

  • Australian celebrities and A-list visitors will be asked to tweet for the nation under new Australia Tourism Board plans:
  • 25,000 Facebook Fans Flock to Pure Michigan: Campaign by “Travel Michigan” (a tourist board’s success on facebook)
  • HKHotels Leverage Social Media to Reap Big Rewards: (all 4 hotels in top 5 NYC on tripadvisor)
  • Travel add-on company Holiday Extra’s is to launch its first new year booking TV campaign, including social media:
  • Brilliant use of social media by La Cucina, a restaurant in Ireland, showing how it should be done.
  • South Dakota Office of Tourism, combines press release with social media using photos, videos and social bookmarking.
  • Tourism Ireland launches 2010 web film campaign, following last years award winning run, search starts for local stars:
  • Colorado Uses Online Contest, SocNets to Promote State: a global search for 3 bloggers who have never experienced snow
  • Travelocity takes ‘Roaming Gnome’ on the road again in social media push – good innovative idea, one to watch -
  • Hilton Hotels Partners with social media platform to showcase staff stories and promote “Up in the Air”×5IWC
  • Maison St. Charles Hotel New Orleans, announces travel industry promotional giveaway, targeting travel bloggers etc.
  • Madison County Tourism NY unveils wedding micro-site (using facebook for targeted advertising):
  • North Dakota Tourism launches 2010 marketing campaign including social media, see site at :

Travelshake Social Media Consultants