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Millennium & Copthorne Hotels explores Social Media impact on global travel

The Trip Tailor allows users to build their trip from an intuitive form, is a vivid illustration of how social media is changing the travel market. 

LONDON – Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) launched a new proprietary Facebook app – The Trip Tailor – at its inaugural Travel Blogger Conference this week. The app, which allows users to build their trip from an intuitive form, is a vivid illustration of how social media is changing the travel market.  

Around 90 bloggers attended M&C’s conference at London’s Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington on Monday, 7 October. The conference was led by a panel of distinguished travel writers – Simon Calder, Senior Travel Editor of The Independent, Sally Shalam, from The Guardian and Julie Falconer, author of the award-winning blog “A Lady in London”. Also on the panel was social media expert Sam Haseltine, Senior Social Media Strategist at M&C’s digital agency, Greenlight Digital.

The conference covered a wide spectrum of subjects over three hours. One of the discussions included asking the panellists which gadgets they can’t travel without; Mr Calder choosing his passport, Ms Falconer her phone, Ms Shalam a pen and Mr Haseltine a good set of headphones. Debate began over what was content and what was writing, with Ms Shalam preferring not to consider travel writing as content and Mr Calder proposing that writing or content is just words and spaces, and what is important is the audience.

Mr Calder said, “Anything that encourages journalism is terrific, the online revolution is making traditional journalists keep our wits about us.” Ms Shalam concurred, saying “The more interest there is in journalism is fantastic but if you really want to make a mark, bring your own passion into blogs, bring in your own expertise.”

Ms Falconer spoke about how she has built her online audience and how the social media drive to her is all day and all night. She said that to have a successful blog you “need to find your own experience, find a unique voice.” Mr Haseltine explained how to connect with, not only your own existing network, but with their networks too, and added, “bloggers are in a unique position because they can innovate and change much more quickly than traditional media.”

They were all in agreement that it is vital to be in control and responsible, for not only the content on your own blog but also the comments that others leave on your hosted space. They also discussed being legally aware of your responsibilities as a journalist and ensuring that what you  write is always fact.

The night proved to be a huge success, with many of the audience members tweeting some of their favourite quotes from the panel, and it provided a great opportunity for bloggers to not only hear from the travel experts but also to meet and talk with their peers. Simon Calder concluded, “Thanks for a fascinating evening that I hope will do wonders for the profile and professionalism of travel blogging. It’s great that Millennium & Copthorne are taking the digital initiative.”

Nayan Peshkar, VP Revenue Management & Ecommerce – Europe, at Millennium & Copthorne Hotels said, “We were proud to organise such a successful launch event. Travel bloggers came away from the conference with some invaluable tips for their future blogging endeavours. We believe in investing in this type of event to allow us to maximise engagement with our guests and to provide them with services to enrich their experiences.”

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.