Study: CVBs Using Twitter to Promote Destinations, Attract Visitors

More than 300 convention and visitors bureaus currently have Twitter accounts that they're using to market their destinations to potential visitors and community partners, according to a new report from New York-based destination marketing firm Development Counsellors International (DCI).

The report, "The Tweet Elite: How the Nation's Top Travel Marketers Are Using Twitter," examines how destination marketing organizations are using Twitter—the popular microblogging and social networking tool—to successfully stimulate tourism.

DCI, which analyzed and compared nearly 3,000 Tweets posted by the country's largest CVBs during a 30-day period in May 2009, chose five destinations—Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, San Francisco and Tampa Bay—as its so-called "Tweet Elite," which are CVBs who not only have the largest number of followers and updates, but also the highest rankings when it comes to connecting with visitors, partners and constituents.

Among both the Tweet Elite and other CVBs, DCI found that the most common—but not necessarily most effective—types of Tweets are:

• Announcements about upcoming local events/news (54 percent)
• Social Tweets (28 percent)
• Replies to followers (20 percent)
• Deals (17 percent)
• Re-Tweets from community partners (13 percent)

"If engaging your followers on Twitter is the key to using Twitter effectively, then having the most Tweets or followers isn't enough," DCI President Andy Levine said in a statement. "Twitter must be utilized to connect on a more personal level. In social media, we don't just tell stories; we participate in storytelling."

To view DCI's full report, visit www.aboutdci.com/The-Tweet-Elite.aspx.