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SXSW Interactive 2014

Stories Travel Fast: Tech Tourism Transformation

How do you bring a travel destination to life using technology and digital storytelling? In 2010 direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $2 billion a day, $86.6 million an hour, $1.4 million a minute, and $24,000 a second. The number has only risen since.

Clearly travel is a significant industry, but in many ways slow to adopt new technologies. This panel is an examination of a digital savvy, experience-driven travel culture from the professionals tasked with using the online to kick you offline.

Digital and mobile allow for immersive video, real-time tours, real-life peer-to-peer tours. Atlas Obscura is a collaborative discovery app that allows a community of explorers to help others discover amazing, hidden spots and share them with the world. This and other peer-to-peer travel communities are changing the way people research, book and explore.

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  1. Removing the middle-man: How are digital communities and apps helping travelers form, distribute and even sell their experience POV? How are these companies affecting the role of the traditional CVB?
  2. What is the role of experience and storytelling in travel? Where does the narrative of travel come into “selling” a travel experience?
  3. What digital/mobile trends are shaping the travel experience? Where do communities like Google Field Trip, Foodspotting, Ulmon, etc. come into play? What do travelers do when faced with so many options?
  4. What are the content challenges with bringing an entire city, one as large and diverse as Los Angeles, to a website or a mobile site? If people get most excited about the same significant content like the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory, how do you share and promote the memorable but niche experiences?
  5. How is digital transforming the role of “travel agents”? How does a CVB or travel site effectively communicate authenticity and destination expertise online? Is it better to partner with known entities or have a more personal voice and using tools to show real-life experiences that “let people in”? Essentially, how do you use digital resources to be a trusted voice and expert on your travel topic/arena?



Jimmy Keown, Sr. Digital Strategic Planner, Digitaria

Meta Information:

  • Tags: travel, experiential
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Entertainment and Immersion
  • Level: Intermediate
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