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Social media takes center stage at WTM London


This year’s social media program at World Travel Market London 2015 takes place across three days and will feature senior executives from Facebook, Twitter and Tripadvisor as well as startups, destinations, bloggers and publishers.

Organized in partnership with Travel Perspective, the sessions begins on November 3 in the South Gallery before moving onto the Global Stage for November 4 & 5.

The keynote speaker for the program is Lee McCabe, global head of travel for Facebook. He will talk about how travel firms can leverage Facebook’s 1.5 billion users in his presentation entitled “Facebook future: mobile, messaging and virtual reality.”

This session takes place on 4 Nov from 1:30 pm to 1:55 pm on the Global Stage AS850.

Twitter is another worldwide platform which is engaging with the travel industry. Samir Bhana, its sales manager for UK and Ireland, features in a face-to-face interview with Mark Frary, co-founder of Travel Perspective.

This takes place on 5 November from 12:50 pm to 1:25 pm, also on the Global Stage.

Tripadvisor is another Nasdaq-listed billion-dollar blue-chip business represented in the social media program. Product director Sarah Davey appears on a panel of experts, each of whom will choose their favorite new travel start-up and explain what is so exciting about it. Each startup will presents to the panel with the audience voting to decide which one is “Travel’s Next Big Thing.”

Her insight will be worth listening to – in 2009 she founded Tripbod, a digital platform which connects travelers with local experts, and which was bought by Tripadvisor in 2014.

This session immediately follows McCabe’s keynote.

The other six sessions include sharing best practice examples from destinations, travel firms and businesses outside the sector. Working with bloggers from outside the travel industry is also on the agenda.

“Content marketing” is also up for discussion with a panel offering travel firms advice on publishing.

The program ends with a session on how travel firms can use video marketing in the age of mobile, hosted by two executives from YouTube.

WTM London, Conference Manger, Charlotte Sutton, said: “We’ve been running a social media program for a number of years, and every year interest in the topic grows.

“At the same time, social media is maturing as a marketing and sales channel, but there is still lots to learn for the experienced and newcomer alike. This year we are also looking outside travel for best-practice examples.”

Source: eTN Global Travel Industry News

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