April 12, 2010

Traveling with Twitter

For wired travelers everywhere, Twitter is increasingly becoming the go-to site for everything from getting hotel recommendations to sniffing out midtrip dinner companions, writes The Wall Street Journal.

The travel industry, it seems, has good reason to home in on tweeters; while only about 46% of all Internet users report using social networks like Twitter, a recent survey by travel-research firm PhoCusWright found that the figure jumps to 60% when you count just people who buy travel online. With the economy still keeping many would-be vacationers at home, getting in front of so many proven travelers is a no-brainer for companies. What's more, Twitter gives providers a chance to spot unhappy customers and, ideally, to fix the problem before their griping has a chance to spread through cyberspace.

But by all accounts, traveling by Twitter remains a bit buggy. To begin with, the technology is so new that travelers and companies alike are still working out the best ways to use it. Too many companies are missing the chance to engage travelers with tips or news, says PhoCusWright analyst Douglas Quinby, and instead are using the site only for self-promotion.

Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal (free content)