Blog trip to Tuscany: 5 bloggers, tonnes of buzz

2011 March 24
by velvet

Cheers to a successful blog trip!

I was in Tuscany last week for a blog trip organised by Avventurosa (a social media specialist based in Milan) and Casa Gentili (a B&B located in Avane, outside Pisa). The theme of the trip was “Like a Local Between Pisa & Lucca” and it lasted four days. There were visits to gelaterias, museums, monasteries, agriturismos, historic villas, and restaurants as well as tours of the countryside, Lucca and a cooking course.

Promoting local businesses in real-time

Five bloggers were invited for the trip: Me, Abigail King, Nellie Huang, Isabelle Kenis and Simon Falvo. This trip is a prime example of how a small group of travel bloggers effectively utilise various social media platforms to promote a destination and many local businesses… in real-time! During the course of the trip, we kept our Twitter and facebook followers up-to-date with short messages, videos and many photos. We used the hashtag #TuscanyTrip for all our tweets.

Shoot & tweet at the cooking course

The resulting buzz that was generated by this trip was simply incredible. People from all over the world followed us as we biked through the Tuscan countryside, gaped at the splendour of historic monuments and indulged ourselves with the fruits of the land. During the cooking course, in which we prepared a variety of pasta dishes, thousands of people followed us via tweets and photos as we made fresh tagliatelle. As we kneaded and stirred, our followers (from Colombia to the US and UK to South Korea) responded to our tweets with questions and comments. The name “Tuscany” became a top travel trending topic on Twitter (according to Wanderlisting) on two of the four days we were there!

Interest from local authorities

The buzz generated from this trip soon reached the offices of various tourism boards and the local press. An official from the province of Pisa visited us to learn more about this innovative approach to marketing the region. We talked about the value that social media and blogging can offer and showed him how we worked. A day later, we were featured in the local La Nazione newspaper and another local paper, La Voce del Serchio. Along the way, we added many local individuals as well as businesses to our Twitter and facebook networks.

Travel bloggers grace the pages of La Nazione newspaper

The buzz continues – part II

We started blogging about our experiences as soon as we returned home. The buzz continued, this time via our blog posts. I decided to run a check of the reach of the hashtag #TuscanyTrip, four days after the end of the trip. The stunning results can be seen below:

source: Hashtracking.com

Five bloggers generated 260,517 impressions on Twitter and reached 213,078 people with their content!

The benefits of this blog trip will continue as we publish more posts about our experiences in the weeks or months to come. This blog trip successfully grabbed the attention of local and regional tourism boards and travel companies/organisations and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from them. We’ve also agreed with Marco (from Casa Gentili) to supply him with links to our blog posts which he will then forward to guests who book at his B&B, thereby introducing our blogs to a wider audience. A win-win for all!

The Buzz continues – part IIIĀ  (update July 2011)

Several months down the road, the fruits of the blog trip are evident. A great variety of posts have been published and an excellent case study of the Tuscany blog trip was made with contributions from the five bloggers. Here are some of my favourites:

Many of these posts have been syndicated to Lonely Planet. In addition, some of these posts were featured by the likes of National Geographic Intelligent Traveler and EasyJet.

One Response leave one →
  1. March 24, 2011

    Great article, Keith.
    I strongly believe that the travel industry can get huge benefits from a social media campaign and that this is a trend that will further grow in the future.
    There’s so much that can be done to promote off-the-beaten track areas and smaller business in the travel industry, with limited budgets. Getting together, as was done for the Tuscany Blog Trip, can provide great value for all.
    I think that the Tuscany Blog Trip can easily become an interesting success story of the Italian travel market.
    Simon

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