The Bloggers are Coming
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.Â 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.
Also counted among the bloggers is the fabulous L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine (@Neenz), serving as one of many local hosts and organizers.
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.”
They’ll definitely experience local music: The HTA announced today that their welcome reception will include live music by 2009 Grammy nominated Hawaiian musician Makana.
Hopefully there’ll also be opportunities for meetups and tweetups with local geeks!
Thank you *so much* for helping to spread the word with this awesome blog post.
As someone who’s been visiting Hawaii for decades (my grandmother lives there) and most recently became connected to the local bloggers via the awesome Podcamp Hawaii conference last year, I’ve been looking for a chance to play a part in sharing why I love you guys so much. :)
Every visit always leaves me wanting to cancel the return trip on my ticket and I’ve come to realize it has more to do with the people itself than anything a brochure or website can highlight.
So with that, to answer your last question on the post, yes. We will definitely have meetups with the local community. This is actually what the tour is all about. We are already becoming more connected online via social media, the next step always is meeting folks in person.
See you soon!
Ryan I would love to get a chance to meetup with another Dad and blogger! Your title made it sound as if you were Paul Revere! I guess that might be the way it seems. I am very excited to visit and tell everyone about the experience. I hope to live stream it and maybe we can get you on the show too!
Looking forward to meeting Mark!!
Ryan, thanks for blogging this. I hope that you will be at some of the events so that we can finally meet!
Hey Ryan… Hope you are well… Great blog and the event sounds fabulous. Thanks for putting this out there. Hope to see you there!
Can’t tell you how excited I am for this.
Thanks for the informative post. I’ll be in Maui the same time as the blogger tour. Would love to meet up with everyone.
I am looking forward to their Maui visit :)
Thanks very much for this post and for describing the tour and its participants so well; I’m really looking forward to getting on a plane next week with my son and heading in your direction!
wouldn’t #hawaiihta mean hawaii hawaii tourism authority, if i don’t have my acronyms mixed up?
A twitter and blogging tour of Hawaii is so exciting. It brings immediacy to the world of travel writing and reading. My husband and I recently returned from an off-the-beaten-path trip to the Big Island and Molokai, which I tweeted, with photos, using hastag #Hawaii. The response was gratifying. Blog posts from the trip are currently working their way into my editorial calendar. Riding horseback in Waipi’o Valley was a favorite. http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2009/05/18/horseback-riding-in-hawaiis-waipio-valley/
I’m happy to see the tourism industry embracing the world of social media, or at least that’s the case in Hawaii.