Travelshake.com 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.
Travelshake.com 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 Travelshake.com 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, Travelshake.com 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 Travelshake.com can help them.’
Businesses choose a customised URL on Travelshake.com, Travelshake.com/BusinessName and the company is already advising businesses to register early, to secure ownership of the particular name they require. The Travelshake.com 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.
Travelshake.com 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 Travelshake.com at the forefront of social media development in the travel industry, both in Ireland and internationally.
Commenting on the launch of Travelshake.com, 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 Travelshake.com.’
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For further information:
Laughlin Rigby, Travelshake.com