While social media is undeniably useful for promoting consumer products and services, it's also effective for tourism purposes, something that Mayor Bob Buckhorn of Tampa Bay, Florida, has discovered.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn is using the location-based social media app Foursquare to provide visitors with information on things to do in his city. Buckhorn has essentially created a virtual tour of Tampa Bay for tourists, including great places to eat and shop in the city, as well as attractions, government buildings and recreational parks. For each of the places, Mayor Bob Buckhorn has even provided his own personal tips. For example, referring to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Buckhorn says, "Looking for a thrill? Cheetah Chase is one of my favorites!"
Social media as a mechanism for tourism seems to be a burgeoning new thing (remember the Swedish city that used Facebook to attract tourists?), so it will be interesting to see whether other mayors will jump on board in the near future.
Real-Life Social Media Mayors
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Social Media Airports
Facebook Tourism Tactics
Global Dining Protocol Maps
Personalized Foursquare Badges