The New York Times has announced a paywall, and other newspapers are trailing close behind. It is clear: the publishing world is changing; the new game is called the 2.0 media landscape. And the travel industry is playing along hard. Here are some winning moves that have been taken in the past years:
Apps. Remember the times when you lugged around heavy guidebooks? No need for your back to ache anymore. Now, all you need is a smartphone or tablet. Regardless of your destination, chances are that there’s an app that will guide you around. But if that weren’t enough, there’s app for just about any travel-related need. If you need a bathroom, Sit or Squat has got you covered. Looking for a cab? Consult Taxi Magic. And if you’re out of cash, ATM Hunter will track down the nearest cash dispenser.
The rise of the travel blogger. There appears to be no paywall holding back bloggers. In fact, travel bloggers are becoming increasingly respected by travel companies. Press trips are open not only to print journalists, but bloggers, too.
Digital magazines. Along with the rise of the blogger has come the ascent of the digital travel magazine. My own personal favorites include TRVL (only for iPad), Centro y Sur, and the most recently launched Wild Junket Magazine.
Social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit…now I’ve just recently stumbled upon Pinterest. It appears that there’s a new social network budding every couple of months. How does this affect the travel industry? Tweets are becoming sources of destination information, and Facebook groups are helping local communities reach out to possible visitors. Read more about Travel and Technology in my recent essay for Digital Ethics.
It might be, as Tim Robbins of the Financial Times asks, “the end of the guidebook,” but it certainly is the start of something new and exciting in the travel industry.