Owning a Tourism Business is awesome

3 Dec 2010

Recognition for Matava at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010 | Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

MEDIA RELEASE: 29th November 2010

Recognition for Matava at the
Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010

Matava has won in the Best in the Marine Environment category at this year’s Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010 organised by responsibletravel.com.

The Judges said “Matava is a beacon for responsible tourism and an example to other dive sites. They maintain a strong commitment to both the conservation of the marine environment and the development of the local Fijian community. All staff and dive guides are from local villages, they have signed an agreement with local villages designating 3 established marine reserves as 100% no-take zones, across large geographic areas, and even succeeded in assisted in getting marine conservation on to the Fijian National Curriculum.”

At a ceremony hosted at World Travel Market (WTM), Docklands, London, on Wednesday 10thresponsibletravel.com, organisers and founders of the Awards, and Amanda Wills, managing director of Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards.

November, the Awards were handed out by Justin Francis, managing director of

Justin Francis, founder of The Responsible Tourism Awards and managing director, responsibletravel.com, organisers of the Awards said:

“This year I have been heartened by the depth of commitment and connection our winners have shown to the local communities in their destinations. Their successes and pioneering spirits are remarkable and the very real and authentic experiences they have created, set responsible tourism apart. They also remind us that holidays can be both luxurious for visitor and enhancing for local people – helping build schools, water pumps, clinics and conserving cultural and natural heritage.”

Lorna Young accepting Matava’s Award at WTM 2010

Richard Akhtar, Director of Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort said:

“At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to receive this prestigious global award. We find it even more important that the industry, by rewarding similar efforts, choose to take a stand for the environment we depend on. We also see it as an important continuing signal to the community which at the same time can serve to inspire the numerous individuals and companies who have been doing so much, and continue to do even more in the field of environmental enlightenment and conservation. This award has highlighted Fiji’s leading role and efforts in this regard especially.”

Amanda Wills, managing director, Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards said:

“I’m once again humbled by the commitment, drive and ingenuity of today’s winners. They have shown us all what can be achieved by the people and places seeking to benefit from tourism, even when the economic climate continues to challenge us all. Their’s is truly an example for the rest of the industry to follow, and I’m delighted that Virgin Holidays is again able to be a part of this celebration.”

Launched in 2004, the Awards are run in association with partners World Travel Market, Metro Newspaper and Geographical

Over the years the Awards have celebrated the best in responsible tourism, and attracted some of the best celebrity supporters, including Michael Palin and Paul Theroux!

Simon ReeveIn 2010 Simon Reeve, best-selling author, presenter and broadcaster launched the Awards with an exclusive interview in Metro Newspaper:

“The Responsible Tourism Awards focus attention on travel firms that are providing us all with amazing trips that make a difference to a local community while still protecting the environment and our planet. And they remind us that responsible travel is not only better for our world, it’s also more interesting and memorable. Responsible tourism is the future of travel.”

Liz BonninLiz Bonin, Wild Animal biologist, biochemist and presenter of ‘Bang Goes the Theory’ on BBC1 also lent her support to the Awards with an exclusive interview on wildlife and responsible tourism in Metro Newspaper:

“If we make the effort to respect our holiday destinations and contribute responsibly to the local economy by staying in local farms or homestays and exploring the local wildlife through eco-tourism, we benefit by getting a real sense of local culture and discovering hidden treasures we could never get from a faceless resort holiday, all the while knowing that we have our done our bit to keep this planet happy and healthy. The Responsible Tourism Awards are doing a fantastic job at reminding us of our duty to travel in this responsible way.”

For a full list of finalists, see www.responsibletourismawards.com

- Ends -

Notes to editors

About Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava – Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. With more than 14 years experience in the Fiji Islands, Matava is recognized as a leading educational dive centre. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian ‘bures’ with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views.

For interviews, images or further information please contact Stuart Gow, Stuart@Matava.com, t: 679-997-5416

About The Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards

The Awards are the most prestigious and competitive of their kind in the world and are a collaboration between online travel directory responsibletravel.com; UK media partners Metro Newspaper and Geographical Magazine and World Travel Market who host the ceremony. The central tenet of the Awards is that all types of tourism – from niche to mainstream – can and should be operated in a way that respects and benefits destinations and local people.

About responsibletravel.com:

responsibletravel.com is the world’s leading travel agent for responsible holidays. The site offers over 3,500 richer, deeper and more locally distinctive travel experiences that are better for destinations and local communities.

Whether you’re after an action-packed adventure, a relaxing beach escape or a charming countryside getaway closer to home, there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.

Co-founder, Justin Francis had the original idea for the website on his travels through Africa having completed his MSc in Responsible Tourism. He launched the site with backing from Dame Anita Roddick in 2001 and since then has been included in Courvoisier’s The Future 500, Thames and Hudson’s 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future and taken his place on the Advisory Board of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University. Based in Brighton, England responsibletravel.com also campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.


Stuart Gow

+679 603 0685

Alex Lyons
+44 (0)1273 648 519

Recognition for Matava at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010 | Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

2 Nov 2010

Fake reviews on TripAdviser now punishable

Fake reviews on TripAdviser now punishable

"Fraudulent reviewers beware. Hundreds of hotels and restaurants are planning to reveal the identities of bogus reviewers on travel websites, such as TripAdvisor.

news.com.au reported that UK-based online reputation management company, Kwikchex, is preparing to publish a list containing thousands of suspected false and defamatory reviewers.

Once released, the accused will be afforded two weeks to provide evidence of their stay or facts to support their outlandish comments. If they are unable to oblige, legal consequences may follow.

Australians are not exempt and could potentially be sued for posting false or exaggerated reviews, with legal repercussions ranging into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The UK’s Mail Online reported that Kwikchex plan to apply for a court order that would force TripAdvisor to disclose any information they retain in regards to the identity of reviewers in order to repair the integrity and reputation of shamed businesses.

“It (TripAdvisor) is highly influential in terms of buying decisions by consumers and whilst many of the reviews on their site provide a good guide, there are several elements within the TripAdvisor operating procedures that are questionable,” according to Kwikchex’s website.

“If you put up a false review – one that’s not based on your stay at the hotel and reporting what factually happened to you – there is the potential to be sued” says Robert Todd, lawyer for Australian law firm Blake Dawson.

According to Kwikchex, those people who can prove they have contacted TripAdvisor and have attempted to have their comments removed, without success, will be exempt from prosecution.

Kwikchex claims there are “over 1100 results on TripAdvisor, many alleging physical and sexual abuse against managers and owners that wish to clear their names in a court of law, but who have up until now, been prevented from doing so.”

“I would suggest that a person sets out all the facts and then says (something like) ‘I think this is not the best value’,” Robert recommends.

The authenticity of these often malicious and brazen reviews is going unchecked according to Good Hotel Guide editor, Adam Raphael.

He claimed his publication had been overrun by hoteliers complaining about “fraudulent reviews” and “bogus reviewers” on TripAdvisor.

“Millions of consumers are beginning to realise that they have been gulled by bogus reviewers” said Mr Raphael.
A spokesperson for TripAdvisor told Mail Online that their website would only reveal reviewer information if forced to do so via a court order."

26 Oct 2010

8 Ways to Promote Your Travel Blog | The Planet D: Around the World Adventure Couple


So you’ve written something amazing and you want people to read it. It is funny, profound and filled with great information. But nobody is coming over to your blog for a visit.

Let’s face it, most of us aren’t writing a blog for ourselves. We would appreciate an audience. But how does one get an audience, especially when they are first starting out?

You have to network. If people don’t know you are out there, they will never find you.

There are many technical things that can help a person to place higher in the search engines. If you show up on the first page of Google, you will definitely find an audience of people looking for advice and information. But that doesn’t happen overnight.

Read full article here: 8 Ways to Promote Your Travel Blog | The Planet D: Around the World Adventure Couple

Google Instant 101

Still wondering how Google Instant—the new enhancement that shows results as you type—changes search marketing? Well, Google promises to shave 2.5 seconds off each user's search, with the end result of 10-percent faster searches.
In a recent post at the Daily Fix blog, David Felfoldi cites the benefits of this change, according to Google:
  • Predictive Typing. As you type, a prediction is made of what you are seeking.
  • Instant Results. As you type, the results appear. Every typed character updates the search results instantly.
How will it affect your efforts? Here are four ways Felfoldi says Google Instant has already changed the search landscape:

  • Short attention spans will grow even shorter. An entire new search results page of options is now just a keystroke away. "Keep your copy brief, to the point, and able to grab attention," Felfoldi advises.
  • Impression counts may increase. When a searcher stops typing and the results are displayed for three seconds or more, Google counts the pause as an impression. To see the impact of this change, Felfoldi suggests monitoring AdWords accounts closely for a while.
  • There will be greater competition for shorter phrases. "No longer is your competition the other websites that rank for your target or niche keyphrase term like 'tankless water heater,' " Felfoldi notes. "Rather, it is also the shorter phrases, like 'tankless' and 'tankless water' that now also appear as the user types in their full search phrase. Each phrase presents a new layer of competition for you to now consider."
  • Predictive search = keyword research. You can look to predictive search to help choose your hottest keywords. "The term that appears first is probably the most common search result, and the one you should consider targeting," Felfoldi advises.
  • The Po!nt: Success is rarely instant. Make sure your search strategy addresses Google's latest enhancement—and the changing user behaviors likely to result.

Source: Daily Fix.

13 Oct 2010

Are you getting the right guest feedback?

Internet forums, online reviews, customer polls – sometimes there's so much information out there it can be difficult to know which source to trust. Can you rely purely on online information or is there still a role for traditional customer research?
Jonathan Barsky and Robert Honeycutt from research specialists Market Metrix, argue that while social media has an important role to play, the hospitality industry shouldn't give up on traditional customer research.
Read the full article here button

3 Oct 2010

TripAdvisor's new Reviews at a Glance

Reviews at a Glance
Launched in September, TripAdvisor's new Reviews at a Glance feature summarizes the most frequent review phrases for hotels with over 50 reviews. With it, travelers can quickly browse the pros and cons of booking at a particular property, and click on various quoted phrases to quickly read the full text of relevant reviews; they no longer need to dig for the details they're most interested in.
For example, take Hotel Giraffe in New York City. While reading all of the hotel's more than 650 reviews could take some time, Reviews at a Glance summarizes the most common review phrases, such as "Very Nice, "Great Location," and "Free Internet," in a box above the most recent reviews. This allows consumers to get a quick snapshot of the overall traveler sentiment on a property without having to read through dozens of reviews at a time.
Click here to see Reviews at a Glance in action button

30 Sep 2010

10 Killer Titles That Will Provoke Your Facebook Fans

Words IconSimply put, the single most effective thing to gaining the attention of individuals in a world of information overload is writing compelling titles. While your content may not be as exciting as your title, it’s going to be difficult to develop a massive following if you don’t excite, taunt, tease, challenge, educate, or entertain your followers. So stop being boring! Here are 10 titles that will reach out of your fans’ computer screen and virtually smack them in the face (in a nice way of course)!

Think And Grow Rich

Not only is this one of my favorite books of all-time, but the title is also one of the most successful ones ever written. It makes a compelling offer: think and you can become rich. Is there anything else that you need to do? Who knows, but if all I need to ever do is think in order to become rich, I definitely need to find out what I need to be thinking! The Napoleon Hill book has become one of the most sold books ever and while it’s also the original self-help book, it’s also one of the best titles ever written.
The lesson learned from this title is pretty simple: offer people a simple solution (thinking) for creating dramatic change (becoming rich).

The 4-Hour Workweek

I honestly put this book down halfway through because I felt like Tim Ferris was teaching me how to skip class in high school, something that I could just as easily write a book on. However Tim has implemented a formula for success. In addition to extensively testing numerous titles, something that is mandatory for any successful marketers, he built a book which promises something which most people would consider unimaginable.
Be warned though: using this technique is guaranteed to get peoples’ attention, but if you don’t follow it up with quality content, you are going to end up with instant buyers remorse.
The lesson learned here is clear though: simply offer something that most people could only dream of.

WATCH: Man Stops Speeding Train With Bare Hands!

This is something that I regularly use to drive traffic to this site. While it’s somewhat of a psychological trick, telling people do do things (click, watch, click, etc) is more likely to result in that action taking place. I’m not sure where I read it, but the word “STOP!” has a dramatic effect on people. In addition to seeing stop signs, the word is typically used to let people know there is something important they need to pay attention to. It also results in an action.
Lesson: by occasionally using action words to tell the user what action to take, you can actually drive more instances of that action.

How To Win Friends And Influence People

This is another killer book. This Dale Carnegie classic offered valuable insight for understanding the social dynamics of success. It also promised the reader two valuable skills: winning friends and influencing people. Any title that gives you two compelling things for the price of one is always guaranteed to get peoples’ attention.

7 Proven Techniques To Skyrocket Sales

List articles, like this one, always tend to perform well. If you can give people small bits of “content candy” that is easy and quick to digest, you’ll always be sure to do well. Additionally, not only do you want a list of things, but you clearly want a list of things that are compelling to the group of people you are targeting. By offering your readers (fans) a list of items that they can quickly consumer, you’re practically guaranteed to get people to click, comment, or like.

The Scott Pilgrim Handbook To Facebook Marketing

While Scott Pilgrim may be one of the best selling characters among Amazon books right now, there are plenty of other popular books that people recognize. The main strategy used here is offering a recognizable super hero or expert’s name and associating it with something they’d either be good at or something that seems completely unrelated (see our article on “What Hotel Towels Can Teach You About Facebook Fans“).

WARNING: This Secret Sales Technique Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich

I use this title because it’s the name of a book by David Garfinkel which is filled with hundreds of titles that you can use to provoke your fans, followers, readers, and anybody else that visits your site or Facebook Page. I’ve used the book personally to find titles that generate results. While there are tons of resources, like “swipe files” (Google it), for discovering titles, this books is the best one I’ve found yet that serves as an excellent companion when creating titles. Just like the other titles, this title offers the reader something insanely compelling. It’s pretty similar to “Think And Grow Rich” to be honest.

Speak Spanish Like A Diplomat

While I’ve never used this title personally, I grabbed this one from the book I just mentioned and I found it to be quite compelling. It offers the reader the opportunity to learn how to perform a skill just like the experts. While I doubt the title “Perform Surgery Like A Surgeon” isn’t going to be your best performing article, an article such as “Crush Sales Like True Closers” would probably perform decently. I’m sure you can brainstorm plenty of other titles (speaking of which, please feel free to post some in the comments).

10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know

I’m giving away my own secrets this one. This title has helped me drive more than 2 million people to this site. The title was also followed by an extremely compelling article that provided detailed instructions on how users can protect themselves. The combination of a broad audience (Facebook users) with instructions on how to quickly make the user safer (security ranks high in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) provided explosive results. You can use this title as well by just filling in the blanks: “10 ______________ Every ______________ Should Know”, replacing the first blank with some sort of desirable piece of information (sales techniques, safety rules, etc) and the target market (Facebook users, gamers, mothers, brilliant students, etc).

Don’t Become The Boy Who Cried Wolf!

These titles can be extremely powerful but they can also kill your brand overnight. The reason is that if you over-promise something and under-deliver, the reader will have the feeling of buyers remorse, even if they got the content for free. You must continuously test new ways to improve your skills and then share those techniques with others. If you aren’t improving, then you aren’t going to be providing information which is valuable. Seriously, I can’t emphasize this enough. Providing junk content will kill any hope you have for being successful.

Master Facebook Marketing

If you haven’t yet tried out Facebook ads, you can get $25 in ad credits for free by entering the ad coupon code “afblog-sept2010” next time you create an ad campaign. If you want to stay on top of all the latest Facebook advertising strategies, make sure that you subscribe to our Facebook Marketing weekly newsletter. We’ll continue covering this topic in more depth over the coming weeks and months.

1. “The promotional coupon code for Facebook Ads of USD $25 are valid only for purchase of advertising through Facebook’s online advertising system. Advertisers will be charged for incremental cost of advertising that exceeds the promotional credit. Advertisers will need to suspend their ads if they do not wish to receive additional charges beyond the initial promotional credit amount. Subject to ad approval, valid registration and acceptance of the generally applicable Facebook Advertising Terms and Conditions at http://www.facebook.com/terms_ads.php. The promotional coupon code and advertising credits are non-transferable and may not be sold or bartered. Offer may be revoked at any time for any reason by Facebook. Quantities are limited. You may only redeem this promotional coupon code if you do not currently have an advertiser account on Facebook. Once you register for an advertiser account, you may only redeem one promotional code coupon. Promotional coupon codes are valid only for purchase of Facebook Ads, and must be applied to a new Facebook advertiser’s account within 15 days of the creation of the account and used within 90 days of such application to a new account. Promotional coupon codes expire 10/3/2010 and cannot be applied to a Facebook advertising account after the expiration date. Facebook promotional coupon code is being offered by Facebook to users of AllFacebook.com. Facebook is solely responsible for all questions or issues related to the use such codes or Facebook Ads.”

10 Killer Titles That Will Provoke Your Facebook Fans

5 Aug 2010

Why You Need to Make a Facebook Fan Page for Your Website NOW! | Search Engine Journal

When Facebook announced the Fan pages, there were a number of mixed reviews. Some where hailing it and its integration to the new advertising platform and some hated it – claiming it was turning Facebook into Myspace. Whatever your stance is, here are 6 reasons you need to make a Facebook page for your website or company now.

1. Pages are public. Most of Facebook is behind a login, preventing search engines from indexing. However, some Fan pages are not behind a login and thus search engines can index the page. Hopefully, people will stumble on the result in SERPs, visit the Facebook page, and then get to your site via the link (see reason #2).

2. Pages include links. Because the pages are public, you can get some nice facebook.com link credit. You can’t use an anchor text, but hey, it’s free.

3. Send “updates to fans”. One of the greatest features is that you can send “updates” to fans whenever you want. It’s a nice way of building a database of interested users. Send messages about new products, updated website, etc.

4. You control the page. Making the page before a Fan or a competitor is critical. You want to be able to send the messages, edit or remove sections, and control the information to an extent.

5. News feed. When a someone joins a Fan page, it’s published in their News feed for all their to read (unless they have turned this off). It makes someone joining your Fan page somewhat viral.

6. It’s free and easy. Making a Fan page takes just a few minutes – add some information, URL, and upload the logo and you’re done. You can make your page

Dave Rigotti is the owner of Freezing Hot, an internet marketing company which specializes in seo and paid search management for small businesses.

Why You Need to Make a Facebook Fan Page for Your Website NOW! | Search Engine Journal

4 Aug 2010

New Insights Go Live For Facebook Page Admins

Facebook previously announced a new Insights product back at the company’s developer event earlier this year, and while the new Insights product was available, it wasn’t completely integrated into the Pages product. This evening, Facebook has fully pushed out the new Insights product and it should be visible to all Facebook Page administrators. The new Insights don’t actually provide much additional insight, however it is definitely much cleaner than before.

Facebook has been making a number of upgrades to Facebook Pages recently. Most important to Facebook Page administrators is the impending update to Facebook Page tabs which will be resized to a smaller width. One interesting change to the new Insights product is the inability to view the absolute number of fans based on country. Instead, Facebook has opted to display demographic information as a percentage.

Aside from that, there’s really not much else to see. If you want to view the upgraded Facebook Page Insights you can do so here.

AllFacebook Insights Screenshot

New Insights Go Live For Facebook Page Admins

2 Aug 2010

50 Content Management Systems

If you're lookin' into creating, or re-creating your web presence, here's a list of great CMS choices. Some are free, some are hosted, and some are industry specific. All of these platforms are quite different from one another, but all have some great attributes. Well, at least most of them.

50 Content Management Systems

30 Jul 2010

YouTube Increases Video Length Limit to 15 Minutes

This may end up as a great move for putting tourism videos FULL LENGTH onto YoutTube, which has just the biggest audience imaginable!


YouTube decided to increase the video length limit from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. It may seem like a small change, but YouTube is testing the waters before dropping this limitation.

"Without question, the number one requested feature by our creators is to upload videos longer than 10 minutes. We've heard you, and today we're pleased to announce that we've increased the upload limit to 15 minutes," informs YouTube's blog.

The main reason why YouTube added a 10 minutes limitation back in 2006 was that a lot of users uploaded full-length movies and TV shows. Now that YouTube uses a content identification software and Viacom lost the case against YouTube, Google's video site can safely remove this arbitrary limitation. YouTube is cautious, so it will release incremental improvements.

"We've spent significant resources on creating and improving our state-of-the-art Content ID system and many other powerful tools for copyright owners. Now, all of the major U.S. movie studios, music labels and over 1,000 other global partners use Content ID to manage their content on YouTube. Because of the success of these ongoing technological efforts, we are able to increase the upload limit today," explains YouTube.

YouTube Increases Video Length Limit to 15 Minutes

27 Jul 2010

Facebook | Introducing Our New Safety Center

Today, Facebook launched a new Facebook Safety Page, where they'll regularly post dynamic content to complement the resources in the expanded Safety Center that they introduced in April. The Safety Page will highlight new initiatives to keep people on Facebook safe, valuable educational materials from Internet safety experts including the members of our Safety Advisory Board, and relevant news coverage.

The Safety Page is modeled after their popular Security Page, which discusses best practices for maintaining data security and has grown to over 2.2 million fans.

By liking the Safety Page, you also can make safety a regular part of your Facebook experience.

Facebook | Introducing Our New Safety Center

26 Jul 2010

Guidebooks out, laptops in

People are more inclined to reach for their laptops as opposed to guidebooks for research during holiday stays, reveals research from insurer AAMI.

While 33 per cent of travellers take their laptops to find a restaurant, learn a phrase, or book accommodation, only 25 per cent of travellers have been using guide books.

"[W]e might one day see the end of travellers rifling through a dog-eared travel guide while on the road," AAMI spokesperson Mike Sopinski said.

Aside from general research about the destination, 84 per cent of the surveyed travellers used their electronic devices for emailing uses, while 54 per cent checked bank balances and 27 per cent booked accommodation.

According to the findings, 82 per cent of Australian travellers travelled with a digital camera, while 74 per cent went a mobile phone, 35 per cent with an iPod, and 9 per cent with an iPhone.

With the increasing number of electronic devices being carried overseas, insurers are pushing for Australians to look after their valuables.

"With so many Australians travelling overseas with expensive communication equipment, travellers should seriously consider travel insurance as essential protection against not just accidents or illness, but also for their belongings," Mr Sopinski said.

Guidebooks out, laptops in: research - Technology News - etravelblackboard.com

16 Jun 2010

Starbucks Announces Free Wi-Fi, Proprietary Content Network | Epicenter | Wired.com

Starbucks Announces Free Wi-Fi, Proprietary Content Network | Epicenter | Wired.com

Starbucks Coffee Company CEO Howard Schultz (right) announces free Wi-Fi in all Starbucks locations at the Wired Disruptive by Design conference in New York City during a conversation with Wired magazine editor-in-chief Chris Anderson. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Conde Nast; caption: Howard Schultz).

NEW YORK — Starbucks’ coffee drinks have become synonymous with the high costs consumers are cutting back on these days, but at least the Wi-Fi connections in its stores will no longer require a credit card.
Free Wi-Fi is in my mind just the price of admission.

Starting July 1, Starbucks will let anyone connect to its WiFi network for free. This fall, the company will add a content network called Starbucks Digital Network, in partnership with Yahoo and other sites, which will include local content you won’t be able to read anywhere else. Both offerings will be free.

“Free Wi-Fi is in my mind just the price of admission — we want to create … new sources of content that you can only get at Starbucks,” chairman and president and CEO Howard Schulz told the Wired Business Conference. “This is a thing that doesn’t exist in any other consumer marketplace in America.”

Starbucks hopes to make money from these initiatives indirectly, by “enhanc[ing] the experience” and making the content “so compelling that it drives incremental traffic,” said Schulz as he announced the new initiative at Wired’s Disruptive by Design conference on Monday.

McDonalds has free Wi-Fi too, of course, as does just about every other coffee place in the country other than Starbucks. Schulz admitted that both of those stratas have been competing with Starbucks on coffee as well as internet service, with McDonalds stealing bargain-oriented customers and boutique independent coffee shops in urban areas grabbing some of its loyal epicures.

However, none of Starbucks’ direct competitors have their own localized content networks on the level of what Schulz described. In some communities, Starbucks functions as a sort of community center — a “third place” between home and the office, in Schulz’s words — and this infusion of local news and information, along with a free way to get it, could enhance that effect.

Each customer must log in to Wi-Fi and the Starbucks Digital Network with a unique identifier, so Starbucks won’t only know where you are, but who you are, potentially allowing for targeted messaging to offset cost further. Focus groups have been quite receptive to the free Wi-Fi and local content customers will get in return, says the CEO.

So, where will all of this content come from? Especially, when Starbucks wants it to be updated multiple times a day, so people always see something new.

In addition to the inked partnership with Yahoo, Starbucks is talking to AOL’s Patch.com content-creation division about having it create customized content for the network. In addition, the network will include free online access to the Wall Street Journal, with a percentage of subscription revenue generated when coffee drinkers decide they want to access those articles elsewhere, too."

15 Jun 2010

What’s the Difference Between Viruses, Trojans, Worms, and Other Malware?

Lifehacker's tech-savvy readers are the first people on speed-dial when it's time to heal an infected PC, but how much do you really know about viruses, spyware, scareware, trojans, and worms? Here's a helpful guide to understanding all the different types of malware.

The point of today's lesson, of course, is to help you teach your friends and family more about the different types of malware, and debunk a few of the common myths about viruses. Who knows, maybe you'll learn a thing or two as well.

What’s the Difference Between Viruses, Trojans, Worms, and Other Malware?

12 Jun 2010

The Top 10 Adventure Blogging Tools | The Outside Blog

Somewhere in between the individuals working hard to create a brand for themselves and the companies working hard to make their brand feel more personal, there exists a gaggle of great adventure bloggers. They tell stories and share essential service through videos, photos, podcasts and news analysis. Our favorites include alanarnette.com, The Gear Junkie, Bike Snob NYC, and dirtbagdiaries.com.

At its worst, a blog is used for blatant self promotion and mindless recounting of banal activities. At its best, it's a medium for sharing information in an elegant or humorous way. Kayaking, climbing, surfing, hiking, traveling, cycling, and other adventure pursuits offer plenty of opportunities to tell great stories. If you want to get in the fray, here's a Top 10 list that might help. It's a quick run down of the best tools and resources for creating or improving an adventure blog, with a few guiding principles thrown in the mix. We're not saying it's the ultimate 1-10. We're just getting things started.

Full list of 10 here: The Top 10 Adventure Blogging Tools | The Outside Blog

10 Jun 2010

The Top 10 Adventure Blogging Tools | The Outside Blog

Somewhere in between the individuals working hard to create a brand for themselves and the companies working hard to make their brand feel more personal, there exists a gaggle of great adventure bloggers. They tell stories and share essential service through videos, photos, podcasts and news analysis. Our favorites include alanarnette.com, The Gear Junkie, Bike Snob NYC, and dirtbagdiaries.com.

At its worst, a blog is used for blatant self promotion and mindless recounting of banal activities. At its best, it's a medium for sharing information in an elegant or humorous way. Kayaking, climbing, surfing, hiking, traveling, cycling, and other adventure pursuits offer plenty of opportunities to tell great stories. If you want to get in the fray, here's a Top 10 list that might help. It's a quick run down of the best tools and resources for creating or improving an adventure blog, with a few guiding principles thrown in the mix. We're not saying it's the ultimate 1-10. We're just getting things started.

The Top 10 Adventure Blogging Tools | The Outside Blog


“Twitter is a social network used by millions of people, and thousands more are signing up every day to send short messages to groups of friends. But where’s the user manual for Twitter? Where do new Twitter users go to learn about Tweeting, retweets, hashtags and customizing your Twitter profile? Where do you go if you want to know all about building a community on Twitter, or using Twitter for business? How can you find advanced tools for using Twitter on your phone or your desktop? To answer all these questions and more, we’ve assembled The Twitter Guide Book, a complete collection of resources for mastering Twitter. Happy Tweeting!”Twitter

Facebook Guide Book: Mashable Launches Hub for Facebook Resources

Whether you’re new to Facebook or an old hat, the magnitude of features and functionality in the enormous social network can still be somewhat daunting. From personal profiles to brand pages and applications to groups, there’s a lot to get up to speed on — and even an expert might have occasion to want a primer on one of the lesser-travelled corners now and then.

Facebook Guide Book: Mashable Launches Hub for Facebook Resources

4 Jun 2010

Resort Support Receives a 2009 Constant Contact All-Star Award — Resort Support

Constant Contact recognizes Resort Support for commitment to best practices in email marketing

2009 Constant Contact All-Star Award

Suva, Fiji Islands— 4th June 2010 – Resort Support today announced that it has received a 2009 All-Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc., a leading provider of email marketing, event marketing, and online survey tools for small organizations. Resort Support was selected for meeting Constant Contact’s best-practice standards for the use of Email Marketing throughout 2009.

We have been using Constant Contact for our own email marketing for years, and in 2008 started offering it as a service to our clients. Since then we have been impressed again and again with it’s easy learning-curve and simplicity of use.” said Resort Support director Mr Stuart Gow. “Combined with a delivery success rate off the charts, we couldn;t ask for a better system” he continued. “We are indeed proud that Constant Contact have chosen our company to receive the 2009 Constant Contact All-Star Award”

Resort Support received a 2009 Constant Contact All-Star Award for demonstrating best practices in the effective use of Constant Contact Email Marketing in the following areas:

  • Frequency of campaigns
  • Open rates
  • Bounce rates
  • Click through rates

Our customers work hard to build strong relationships with their customers through email marketing and some, such as Resort Support , truly excel in this effort,” said Gail Goodman, CEO, Constant Contact. “We created our All-Star Awards to highlight those customers who are passionately committed to following our best practices as they work to improve their customer communications. We’re proud of the role we play in helping Resort Support be successful and we look forward to continuing to assist the company with its marketing efforts and supporting its own clients.”

2009 Constant Contact All-Star Award

About Constant Contact, Inc.
With more than 350,000 customers, Constant Contact, Inc. is a leading provider of email marketing, event marketing, and online surveys for small businesses, nonprofits, and member associations. Founded in 1995, Constant Contact helps small organizations grow stronger customer relationships by delivering professional, low cost, easy-to-use online tools backed with award-winning support, education and personal coaching. Constant Contact is a publicly traded company (Nasdaq: CTCT) with offices located in Waltham, Mass.; Loveland, Colo.; and Delray, Fla. To learn more, please visit www.ConstantContact.com or call 781-472-8100.

About Resort Support

Resort Support was established in 1998 to fill a need within the tourism industry for outsourced expertise in management consulting, marketing solutions and business development in the context of small medium tourism properties in the Fiji Islands. The team at Resort Support have been operating many different tourism products throughout the the Fiji Islands and the South Pacific, from dive shops to cruise ships, from hotels to resorts. The two principals of Resort Support are Stuart Gow and Helen Sykes have over 25 years of tourism experience between them operating small-medium tourism products throughout the Caribbean, Central America and the Fiji Islands. To learn more, please visit www.ResortSupportFiji.com or call 679-336-3625.


Media Contact

Stuart Gow



Resort Support Receives a 2009 Constant Contact All-Star Award — Resort Support

30 May 2010

Facebook Wizard Will Magically Make Your Money Disappear

A new software package, promising to enable you to reach hundreds of thousands of people on Facebook, will take your money in exchange for software which will spam the hell out of Facebook. While we haven’t purchased the application, it’s clearly against Facebook’s terms and is probably not the best way to build a “viral marketing” campaign. The application could also be the source of much of the Facebook Page spamming that users have been reporting to us in recent days.

Some of the key features of Facebook Wizard is the following:
  • Automatically add friends at random
  • Spam Facebook Pages by automatically liking and commenting on updates
  • Avoid being blocked by Facebook’s captcha via a “decaptcha” feature
  • Proxy support to hide detection from Facebook’s automated spam detectors

So buy this program and get ready to go viral! Not! My guess is that Facebook will have this shut down in a matter of days. While the application could possibly work, this is definitely not the way to go about building a marketing campaign. If you want to try out blasting your friends (and their friends) with a bunch of spam messages, go download the Facebook Wizard for a mere $95. It’s a great way to quickly throw some money out the window!

Facebook Wizard Will Magically Make Your Money Disappear:

14 May 2010

87% of Hotels, Inns and B&B’s say “NO” to TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is a few months into their “pay to display” contact information with enhanced business listings and the tactic (at least early in it’s implimentation) has to be recognized as a failure.

For those in the industry who can’t afford to pay for displaying contact information (the service starts at $600/yr for properties with less than 10 rooms) the news that most have opted to not sign up is good.

Just 13% of accommodation businesses have listed with TripAdvisor
, despite numerous invitations by email from the company to sign up.

With so much business being derived from TripAdvisor, TripAdvisor must have thought the enhanced listings would have been an easy sell to hoteliers when we first heard about the service this past November.

Offered to early subscribers at 50% off and still being flogged to hoteliers at 30% off, it is hard to believe that those who (like me) scoffed at the idea of paying to display contact information, will pony up even more cash for the opportunity. After all, other tourism businesses like restaurants get a free ridewhat’s with hotels having to pay? It is hard to believe that as TripAdvisor moves to a pay full price model for the service that more hotels will be inclined to get on board.

As for the early adopters who got the steep discount on signing up, do you feel you are getting value from your enhanced business listing?

Full article here:

30 Mar 2010

Befriend The Search Engines

Befriend The Search Engines | UntangleMyWeb.com

22 Mar 2010

Social Networking Usage Surges Globally

According to the Nielsen Company, the global average time spent per person on social networking sites is now nearly five and half hours per month (February 2010 data), with Facebook accounting for the majority of that time. That’s up more than two hours from last year.

In arriving at that conclusion, Nielsen measured social network usage per person across 10 countries and compared that to data from the same time last year.

When looking at specific countries, Italy tops the charts with social network time per person just under six and a half hours per month (6:27:53), and Australia is a close second (6:02:34). The United States — which has the largest unique social networking audience — ranked third in usage with the average person spending just over six hours (6:02:34) on social networks.

What’s even more interesting is that Facebook — with its 400 million members — is far and away dominating the rest of the competition.
Facebook is the number-one social network destination worldwide and accounts for nearly six hours (5:52:00) per person with the average user logging in more than 19 times per month. What that boils down to is that the time spent on Facebook is almost five hours longer than the time spent on MySpace (0:59:33), the second closest social network in terms of time spent on site per person.
Nielsen also found that:
- Globally, the average Twitterer conducts three unique sessions for a total of 36 minutes per month.
- In the U.S. the active unique social network audience grew roughly 29% from 115 million in February 2009 to 149 million in February 2010.
- Active unique users of social networks are also up nearly 30% globally, rising from 244.2 million to 314.5 million collectively.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto, sbayram

Google Nexus One: Now With Multitouch

10 Mar 2010

Summary to tourism operators about link building

Great article about link building, here's his top 4 tips:

  • If you receive an email asking you for a link such as Alice’s put it in the bin. If it sound legitimate, just check out the PageRank, Domain name age of their website, just how I did it below.
  • Ask yourself: would visitors to the site I am getting a link from (their target market) benefit from reading your content?
  • If you are about to hire a link building consultant (so if you were to put yourself in the shoes of TNS here) why don’t you ask them to provide you a list of 3 sites they developed a link building strategy for and check the links they got using the Yahoo! LinkDomain command?…. Mind you, that wouldn’t be enough would it? If TNS was their client you would see a link form “our” website as a link (provided I was gullible), and you would think these guys are good and would have no idea about the black-hat SEO techniques going in the background!
  • This is why you need to ask any potential web partner what their link building processes are and if they cannot give you the full low down I wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot barge pole.
Full article here: Tourism Internet Marketing | UntangleMyWeb.com

5 Mar 2010

Social Media For Tourism specifically TripAdvisor

Brilliant, as I am asked for 101 TripAdvisor at least once a week! Read on and see more on his site:::: UntangleMyWeb.com

In Australia, TripAdvisor is one of the most well-known online reputation checker how I like to call it. For those who do not know, TripAdvisor is an Internet site that allows anyone to comment about their experience at any tourism/hospitality related business.

I am asked every second day for a step by step guide to TripAdvisor. As I did not seem to find a 101 Guide to TripAdvisor guide for tourism business owners, I thought I would fill the information gap!
beach huts
image credit Steve Crane
Every established web surfers will check what is being said on TripAdvisor about the property he is about to book. Some even first start their search on the TripAdvisor site. What is fantastic (for those businesses who have a reputation management strategy in place) is that it can work as your best ally in terms of promoting your business.

TripAdvisor has got such a strong online presence that your property’s page on the site will appear on the first pages of Google when your business name is keyed in the search field. Even before your own website sometimes (yep!)

TripAdvisor negative reviews : why you should be aware

abandonned hotel room

TripAdvisor can also kill your best marketing efforts - that is, if you have not yet tackled the challenge of online marketing or have chosen to stay “passive”. Why? Well, because anyone can say anything about anyone (aka: YOU) on the Internet (this is formally known as User Generated Content). Let me give you an example:
I was conducting an online marketing training session the other day with tourism operators.

Part of the workshop included the review of what potential guests might have said about their experience at your (accommodation) property on www.TripAdvisor.com. You should have seen the facial expression of a member of the audience, aka the accommodation property owner, when she realised that a past client has written an extremely negative review about her business.

If you are a tourism business for instance and decided to stay passive and not tackle the online world just yet, you are not simply staying in passive mode but doing your business some damage. People are most probably writing about you somewhere on the net. If not on TripAdvisor, probably somewhere else.

Tourism Online Strategy - How to I check my online reputation?

thinking baby
image credit Tub Gurnard
How do I check what is being said about me online?
  1. Simply Google your business name to start with. Have a look through the first few pages of Google and see what has come up. You are meant to find something you did not know about!
  2. Go to this page on TripAdvisor and put in your business name or part of it in the top left search box. Go go go, do it now!!! Also try your competitors!!!
  3. While catching up on my RSS feeds from my favourite online marketing for tourism blogs, I discovered a little gem: Todd Lucier from TourismKeys.ca mentioned www.twing.com which is a search engine that crawls online forums - you know, forums, these online bars how I like to call them, where you can ask a question and expect a lot of useful answers. I have checked what people are asking about my local tourism region, Australia’s Gold Coast, and its rather amazing! There are people asking about where to stay, if such and such property is friendly and other recommending other properties that they have already stayed at… Talk about free marketing!
  4. If you are even more game you could start checking if someone posted some photos of their holiday at your place on Flickr… If not, why don’t you start?

How can I take advantage of TripAdvisor to promote my business?

  1. First of all, you need to get listed on TripAdvisor. You can get listed as an accommodation provider, an attraction, a restaurant or a resource such as transport provider, information centre. You will be able to write a short review about your property, add a photo as well. Now, you have done the easiest bit. (if this is too complicated or you are starting to pull your hair out, drop me a line I just love to do all this stuff!). But how to get client reviews??
  2. How about about you ask each and every one of your client to visit TripAdvisor (make it easy for them, send them an email with the link to your property - just my 5 cents). If they have had a great experience, I am certain that they will be willing to help you out with your strategy a little. They can even upload their photos you know. If you would like more insight about this, contact me and I will give you a great little story!
  3. Next thing you can do is pull the testimonials of TripAdvisor straight into the homepage of your website so that any potential client can read about how much fun past clients had at your proterty! This is done using RSS feeds. This is how you add your trip advisor reviews to your website.

What will I do if someone writes a negative review on TripAdisor about my property?

  1. DO NOT STAY PASSIVE! Act! Respond to people’s reviews, and say your side of the story, and what you tried to do to fix the problem.
  2. You can also contact the unsatisfied client and offer them a free night at your property for instance. The end goal is for other TripAdvisor readers to see that you are aware of this unfortunate exception and that you are reacting. This is a very old term used in hospitality and called Service Recovery. You have most probably be doing so in the offline world. Now it is just time to realise that there are many more people reading and hearing about you online!
Happy Tripping!
Social Media For Tourism | UntangleMyWeb.com

10 Feb 2010

What is Affiliate Marketing? and why do you need to know?

Well written, see his blog for more: Tourism Smart Marketing

You join a company's affiliate program and once you're approved, you get a special code that you include on all links you have to their site. When someone visits your site, clicks on one of your affiliate links, and then goes to the vendor and actually buys a product or service, you are paid a small commission.

For example, if you were to sign up as an Amazon.com Associate (Amazon calls their affiliates "associates") you can easily use its Associates area to search for a particular product and then be shown the exact code you need to embed an affiliate link on your own Web page or weblog.

This sales model might not seem earth-shattering, but it is estimated that affiliates accounted for a total of $6.5 billion in sales in 2005. That's a lot of commissions!

Remember, the beautiful thing about an affiliate program is that there's no salary to pay, no health benefits, no office to stock, no computer to buy. In fact, a company can double or even triple its affiliates without incurring any cost whatsoever. It's the sales version of "pay per click": affiliates are only paid when the transaction is completed, so there's no risk.

Unsurprisingly, a small number of affiliates generate the majority of sales just as one or two retail outlets will lead their corporations in sales. Indeed, a common figure you hear when you talk with companies that have affiliate programs is that 5% of affiliates generate about 95% of sales.

If you are a tourism business looking for a way to increase online bookings or sales, you should definitely be considering an affiliate marketing program. What better way to empower thousands of other Internet people to help you sell your service or product, and you only have to pay them when you get a new customer!

Tourism Smart Marketing :: Affiliate Marketing

26 Jan 2010

Facebook / Twitter / Myspace Hacking: How To Keep It From Happening To You | Smackdown!

Breaking into Facebook.I want to thank you for writing this. Excellent reference and resource. I’m going right now to follow you on twitter.

Over the past few weeks I have noticed a sharp increase of scammers trying to get my Facebook password, and not too long ago a few people I know actually fell prey to it. Recently there was an outbreak of of similar activity on Twitter, where the attempts were being spread through direct messages, and Myspace has seen it’s share of woes with these issue as well. The methods being used to try and trick users into giving their passwords away are collectively known as phishing attempts, where the members of the site are sent a message, either through the site itself or in an email, that contains a link or instructions that if followed result in their passwords being given away.

Full article here:
Facebook / Twitter / Myspace Hacking: How To Keep It From Happening To You | Smackdown!

20 Jan 2010

The Extra Minute: Marketing Green Initiatives

In honor of Earth Day, The Extra Minute serves up a special edition. The topic… Marketing Green Initiatives.
Natalie Eisenberg, account executive at Lawrence & Schiller, prepared this list of six suggestions for companies that have been hesitant to take the first steps into marketing their efforts to sustain the environment.
  1. Don’t Wait. You don’t have to be completely green before promoting your efforts. Celebrate and communicate your small successes.
  2. Perfection is not the goal. Focus on progress and improvement.
  3. Be Yourself. Stay true to your brand voice and personality when tackling and marketing environmental efforts.
  4. “What’s in it for me?” Green fatigue is real. Be ware of ’save the world’ messages. Instead communicate the primary benefits for your customers.
  5. Walk the walk. Do as much as possible.
  6. Be Prepared. Expect criticism. Get ready to explain your company’s position.
From: The Extra Minute: Marketing Green Initiatives | L&S Unscripted

SEM is Not Just PPC « Tourism Online Marketing – Tips & Online Strategies

Sounds like a very simple concept but many traditional marketers and CMO’s still think that SEM refers to buying keywords such as Adwords.

SEM (search engine marketing) encompasses both SEO and PPC.

SEO stands for search engine optimization; this is also referred to as organic search or natural search.

PPC stands for pay per click and also known as paid search; other think of PPC as just Google Adwords but I guess it speaks to Google’s dominance of the market place.

So in short, next time someone mentions SEM, remember that it’s both SEO and PPC.

SEM is Not Just PPC « Tourism Online Marketing – Tips & Online Strategies