A country, or even US state for that matter, attempting to promote tourism through advertising is no new feat. Yet, doing so through social media is and Scotland is accomplishing just that. #Scotlandhour is one Twitter hashtag working hard to further emphasize the nation as a prime destination. On the last Wednesday of each month between 9pm-10pm GMT, thousands gather to chat about where to stay, what to eat, and what to do in Scotland all through the hashtag. Each month a new topic is chosen to discuss, along with five questions, which are generated at ten-minute intervals. By opening it up to the public, answers are diverse, widespread, educational, and overwhelmingly positive! It is this positivity and enthusiasm which has made #scotlandhour such a enjoyable monthly meeting for all those who love Scotland and those simply interested in learning more.

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Tweet courtesy of Lindsay MacLean

Starting in August 2011, the monthly chat has grown to have an audience of over half a million. As a result, this tool has proven itself to be a vital resource for those planning to visit Scotland and even those Scots who just want to learn more about their country.

The Scottish Parliament recently recognized the #scotlandhour team for all their efforts and expressed well-deserved recognition for their promotion of the Scottish tourism industry. Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Tourism Minister, claimed that the company has “brought so much credit to [the] country” and announced plans for the Scottish government to team up with #scotlandhour for future endeavors.

More importantly, however, is what the hashtag has allowed domestic companies to do. It has enabled businesses, both large and small, to reach an expansive audience and promote products and share websites/information worldwide! In addition, businesses can reach out to potential customers and answer any questions or concerns. #Scotlandhour has revolutionized tourism marketing and it will be interesting to see how many other countries follow suit!

Feature Image from the author


One thought on “How Twitter Can Boost Tourism

  1. Tim, this is a really interesting strategy for tourism promotion! I know that we have all been turning to social media sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp for inside information on the best places to travel/see/experience, but I have yet to hear something about Twitter being used in such an innovative way for the same purpose. The fact that this monthly chat about Scotland has over half a million participants is absolutely incredible! As of May 2012, the Czech Republic has about 70,000 users on Twitter in TOTAL.*
    This is too bad, because Prague is definitely on the rise in terms of top Eastern European tourist destinations. Fortunately, however, there is another great option available.
    I was introduced to http://www.expats.cz around early September and have been using is as a reference throughout my time here. It is a website (written in English) for both residents and visitors in Prague. It literally has all of the information an expat could ever need, from lists of local doctors to great bar recommendations. They offer free exposure and promotion for small local businesses as well.* Many businesses have advertised on Expats.cz. It is Prague’s largest English language community forum, business database and review database.
    Through this website I have learned so much about the city I’m living in this semester. It gives me an insider look into all that Prague has to offer and enables me to enter a discussion with other Czech people and expats. You can make a profile on this website and connect with any other user on the site.
    I think it’s actually pretty great that Prague has it’s own sort of social networking site that engages anyone interested. While #Scotlandhour is a great idea for boosting tourism and interest, it is also great to have a reliable and constantly functioning website that answers any question you have about the city.
    What I find most appealing about this kind of social networking contact (both #scotlandhour and expats.cz) is that it goes far beyond just talking with friends. On sites like Facebook, you talk to people in your own personal network. Something like #Scotlandhour/expats, however, lets anyone communicate and participate. This leads to the distribution of much more information that reaches a much wider audience. And a wide audience is the key to something like tourism promotion. These networks want to reach as many people as possible.
    I really hope that everyone checks out expats.cz. You’ll be surprised by how much you learn and how many people you connect with!

    -Sarah Anderson

    * = link below


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