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November 22, 2010

Planning a Trip? Gogobot Can Create an Instant Custom "Guidebook" Based on Your Friends' Recommendations

Gogobot

When planning a trip, do you ever seek advice from your Facebook friends who've been there? If so, you should know about Gogobot, a new website, still in private beta, unveiled at the PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit last week. 

Say you're headed to Paris and want to know where to stay, where to eat, and what sights and activities not to miss. If you post your question on Gogobot and connect your Gogobot and Facebook accounts, then your question will post to Facebook too. Gogobot will take the unorganized pile of comments that come in from your Facebook friends and, in only a few seconds and with zero effort on your part, transform it into a neatly categorized list of recommended hotels, restaurants, museums, tours, and more, complete with photos, addresses, phone numbers, opening hours, pricing, maps, and useful links. "It's like having a custom guidebook curated by your friends and people you know" says Gogobot founder and CEO Travis Katz.

"Essentially, it feels like Facebook for trips, but with really good images," proclaimed Kara Swisher of All Things Digital last week. Gogobot is certainly

Continue reading "Planning a Trip? Gogobot Can Create an Instant Custom "Guidebook" Based on Your Friends' Recommendations" »

October 15, 2009

Social-Media Smackdown: Facebook vs. Twitter

How are airlines, travel agencies, and cruise lines using social-networking sites to communicate with travelers? Which is a better tool for talking to customers: Facebook or Twitter?  And, from a business perspective, which delivers a bigger return on investment? 

These were some of the questions we had for Virgin America CEO David Cush, Travelocity CMO Victoria Treyger, and Seabourn Cruise Line CEO Pamela Conover at our Condé Nast Traveler conference yesterday at The Pierre Hotel in Manhattan.

Cush told us that Virgin America uses Facebook for developing "brand zealots," whereas Twitter is more for "conflict resolution"—which often occurs in real time, thanks to Virgin's onboard Wi-Fi.  Facebook delivers the bigger return on investment when it comes to "longterm engagement," although Twitter can deliver bursts of "short-term intense buzz."

Travelocity's Treyger said that Twitter is "better for immediate customer-service issues," as well as for getting the word out about deals. Travelocity recently set up regional Twitter accounts to promote deals from specific cities. Say you live in Los Angeles: You can follow Travelocity's Twitter page specifically for deals from L.A. New Yorkers can follow the page for deals from New York.

As for Seabourn, Conover said that the cruise line has had better success with Facebook when it comes to creating a dialogue with passengers. Facebook also allows Seabourn guests to communicate with each other and share word-of-mouth online.

Click on the videos above to hear the complete answers. And, for advice on "How to Tweet Your Way to Amazing Travel Deals," read my October Perrin Report, which includes a list of 21 twitterers to follow and why.
September 09, 2009

The Art of the Airport Layover

JB_MAP_allcities_081309
Click the map above to see a full size version

by Wendy Perrin

When we at Conde Nast Traveler force a blogger to fly tens of thousands of miles within the space of one month -- remember last year's Airport Layover Contest? -- our goal is to get him out of the airport as much as possible during the down time between flights.  Not so over at Wired.com. The stunt-loving sadists at Wired's Autopia blog won't let their guinea pig -- nicknamed "Terminal Man" -- leave the airport even once!

Remember those $599 JetBlue unlimited travel passes that were on sale last month? Our friends at Autopia bought one for 28-year-old blogger Brendan Ross, a.k.a. Terminal Man. He now gets to fly every day for the next month, endure as many as 68 flights in total, and never leave the airport unless it's on a plane. This is one journey I can't wait to follow. Brendan will soon begin blogging about his adventures, and he's already tweeting up a storm on Twitter

Autopia has invited readers to suggest where Brendan should fly and what he should do during his layovers, so if you've got recommendations, share them here. (We've provided a handy-dandy JetBlue route map to help you out.)

If, on the other hand, you're someone who prefers to spend layovers escaping the airport, check out the 180-or-so seriously creative layover suggestions, most of them international but many domestic, recommended by Perrin Post readers in our Airport Layover Contest. For easy scanning, we've copied and pasted the layover recommendations into this blog entry, after the jump:

Continue reading "The Art of the Airport Layover" »