Have Twitter, Will Travel

June 29, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Posted in travel and technology | 1 Comment
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by David Paul Appell

Microblogging your way to savings?

Microblogging your way to savings?

Lest you write me off as just another glib jumper onto the trendy Twitter bandwagon, let me say that when it comes to newfangled tech trends I’m not exactly what you’d call an “early adopter.” I tend to hold off till something like this really proves itself before spreading my scarce time yet thinner (I didn’t join Facebook till two years ago, for example).

And yes, at first I admit I didn’t “get” Twitter — in fact I found the idea a bit, er, twittish. I’m not so self-absorbed as to be compelled to broadcast my every move and thought to the world, nor do I give a rat’s patootie about following every single bout of Twitterhea from other people, whether friends, acquaintances, or celebs.

But OK, I went ahead and joined the darn thing — mostly because as a writer and new media entrepreneur I thought I just should. And to my mild surprise, the more I was exposed to this wildly popular microblogging service, the more possibilities I began to see. Most consequentially of all, of course, as we’ve seen in recent months and especially this past days in Iran, it’s turned into a spectacular tool wielded against thuggish régimes by democracy-seeking Iranians, Moldovans, and others.

On a far less dramatic and exalted note, one of my main bailiwicks is travel. So naturally I’ve been fascinated to witness Twitter’s potential to can change the way some of us travel, and even significantly affect the travel industry itself.

Just recently, while cooling my heels in a doctor’s office, from my Twitter feed alone I learned, among various other things:

– Where to find English-language bookstores in Berlin (BerlinTourism).

– There’s a $341 round-trip fare available from New York to Los Angeles for July 4 weekend (airfarewatchdog).

– L.A.’s Westin Bonaventure was offering $10 lunch specials in honor of the Lakers NBA championship victory parade (thebonaventure).

Kanin mo ito means “eat this” in Tagalog (TagalogPhrases).

– Guests paying in British pounds can get half-off their room rate through Sunday at San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo Inn (GMGoneMad).

– If you’re heading to Copenhagen expecting to see the harbor’s Little Mermaid statue, do it before next May, because then she’s being shipped off to the Shanghai Expo for eight months. (DenmarkFeelFree).

– A Hard Rock Hotel is opening in Macau (macauusa).

– Pizza Fusion in Fort Lauderdale recently offered one-night only specials such as $5 personal-size pies and a free bottle of wine when ordering any specialty pizza (FloridaEats).

Even that tiny random sampling might start to seem a bit overwhelming, the point is that whatever or wherever you’re interested in, chances are you can find some insight or deal in connection with it — sometimes hot off the presses and for a limited time only. This kind of info can add up to major ka-ching, whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip and looking for a good deal on dinner tonight. We’ve got a more complete and ever-growing list of travel-related tweeters on go-lo’s “Online Corner” group.

Somehow, I have a feeling that Twitter is more than a flash in the pan, and apps will evolve for it that we perhaps don’t even imagine right now. And as ever more tourist boards, airlines, hotels, tour operators, travel agents, and travel media, a service that’s already pretty useful will continue to outdo itself. As much as on the streets of Tehran, in travel, too, the revolution will be tweeted.


1 Comment »

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  1. Absolutely right! And if we can quickly gather the collective wisdom of everyday people on this or that, who even needs experts? Whoops.

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