If you are in need a vacation and love to use social media sites, you maybe in luck. The Colorado Tourism Office is working it’s way into the social media world by getting tourists to post videos, write blogs and tweet for them. And what a better way to get people involved by handing out a three month all-expenses-paid vacation, three in fact, touring the state. In addition to having food, lodging and transportation provided, winners will also be awarded $800 a month. The catch, to enter the contest you must have never seen or touched snow before.
Starting in January, winners will be able to try true Colorado winter activities, including snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing, dog-sledding, and ice climbing just to name a few. In addition to those activities a sample of five star restaurants, resort spas, and hot springs are also rumored to be indulged. The winners will then be able to share their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube.
Kim McNulty, tourism office director has said they are spending just over $150,000 on the contest and hope to generate more than that, after letting the world see Colorado through the contest winners’ fresh eyes, whether they’re from the U.S. or not. All contestants have to do is create a video no longer than 60 seconds, post it to the Snow at First Sight website and promote their video via Facebook and Twitter. A total of ten semi-finalists will be chosen and flown to Denver in December for an “audition” round and then the adventure will begin.
Colorado’s tourism office isn’t the only company offering free vacations through social media. Where I’ve Been, the popular application which allows users to show their friends and others where they have traveled to, is continuously offering free vacations around the world. In gearing up for the announcement of who will host the 2016 Olympics, the company was offering a paid vacation to any of the four finalist cities, Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo, or Rio de Janeiro. All participants had to do was follow Where I’ve Been on Twitterand retweet the contest details. The winner still has yet to decide which city she wants to visit. However the company is frequently offering vacations is currently offering a trip to Las Vegas.
Is this a new trend of getting free vacations through social media sites? It may just be. In fact as airlines and the rest of the travel industry are getting into the social media world, it is giving customers a new way of publicly venting and letting the companies respond. A recent AP article says airlines, more specifically low-cost airlines, such as Southwest & JetBlue are increasing their social media bases and are trying to make customers happy, by listening and replying to their requests. In some cases offering free or reimburasing flights, or other services.
U.S. Airways is being critized for not paying attention to their customers. Michelle Mohr, US Airways spokeswoman has said that while Twitter and Facebook are hot topics right now, the carrier doesn’t believe in “just jumping on the bandwagon.”
Regardless of U.S. Airways, social media is defiantly a growing trend for not just in travel contests but contest overall.