A group of bloggers and vloggers will be touring Hawaii next week as part of a “social media tour,” as local visitor industry officials reach beyond the mainstream to spread the word about Hawaii travel. It’s been dubbed the “So Much More Hawaii” tour, and it will include visits to Oahu (May 27 & June 3-4), Kauai (May 28-29), Maui (May 30-31), and the Big Island (June 1-2, Kona-side only).
The tour is being coordinated by David Uchiyama, Vice President of Tourism Marketing for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, with help from the Hawaii Visitors and Conventions Bureau. They’ve turned to Cilantro Media (the ever engaged Christine Lu) to organize the blogger team. The bloggers are:
- Rick Calvert (@blogworld) from Las Vegas, Nevada, founder of Blog World Expo.
- Leah Lamb (@leahlamb) from San Francisco, California, a writer and producer at Current.
- Shira Lazar (@shiralazar) from Los Angeles, California, a self-described “media empress” with a long resume in lifestyle and travel shows.
- Aric S. Queen (@aricsqueen), a globetrotting new media producer with a focus on China.
- Sheila Scarborough (@SheilaS) from Austin, Texas, a travel writer with a taste for NHRA drag racing and social media.
- Mark Tafoya (@ChefMark) from New York City, a personal chef who creates food and travel videos for the Culinary Media Network.
- Jim Turner (@Genuine) from Firestone, Colorado, a “social media renaissance man” and Social Media Director of Blog World Expo.
Coordinator Christine Lu will also be in town, even though she’s simultaneously organizing other social media events like Geeks on a Plane, which is a tour of East Asia (including Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai).
Twitter is one of the primary ways the participants connect, and the HTA has said the official “hashtag” (or tracking keyword) is #hawaiihta. So in addition to visiting their individual blogs, you’ll be able to follow many of them in near realtime as they post to Twitter during the tour.
There will also be an official blog, which will be launched later this week. I’m very curious about their apparently jam-packed itinerary (Jim Turner put a number of activities up for a public vote), and the businesses and groups that will be hosting them. This seems like an interesting new media twist on the veritable “fam tour.”
Hopefully there’ll also be opportunities for meetups and tweetups with local geeks!