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Travel 2.0 Desert-style

October 17th, 2006 · No Comments · Destination Marketing

I continue to be blown away by the rapidly changing landscape on the web. Check out the Scottsdale Arizona CVB. Their website has some really interesting features that are really no-brainers.

The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has implemented a few things that I would say have launched their site into Travel 2.0 status.

The historic downtown and Loop 101 tours are among 15 podcasts that Internet users can view.

And if they like what they see, the visitors can download the podcasts to an MP3 device to take along and use as an on-the-spot electronic tour guide when they come to the destination, said Lauren Simons, vice president of marketing for the visitors’ bureau.

The podcasts, introduced in September, have already been downloaded 513 times, Simons said.

Here’s what I like best:

The bureau Web site also has an online concierge to answer individual queries about the destination. And super-tech visitors can click to get automatic notifications of news geared toward their personal interests. Plus, the site hosts five blogs, the popular chat format, Simons said.

“It’s a really great way to interact with our customers,” Simons said. “The big trend among travelers now is they want other travelers’ recommendations.”

Their “contact us” page, ugly URL not withstanding, features a Live Help button that presumably contact an available staffer. Too cool.

Official travel blogs? Yup, including Wedding Planner blog, now that’s smart. My only beef would be their mapping. Why not implement Google Maps or Yahoo Maps? They do link to Yahoo Maps Driving Directions, but that’s it. They’ve got 7 downloadable PDF’s, good, I’m guessing that one Flash Interactive Map totally ate their mapping budget. They’ve got someone smart there, but all the Flash, Javascript navigation, and Ugly URL’s kind of ruin it for me. 7 out of 10.


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