Ireland and Britain travel experts CIE Tours International has begun testing an innovative Social Media Concierge (SMC) program aimed at satisfying two goals: surprising and delighting guests and building the travel marketers of tomorrow. The program places highly vetted interns on select CIE Tours- experiences, giving the interns an opportunity to develop their social media and marketing skills while assisting guests in sharing their own vacation stories. CIE Tours Chief Commercial Officer, Susan Black, a travel-industry marketing veteran and professional development advocate created the program, which is in a pilot phase this summer.
“We are excited to bring a new approach to our guests’ satisfaction that also serves as an extraordinary way to entice smart young marketers to a professional life in the travel industry,” said Black. “As an experienced marketer in this business, I know that for many of today’s guests the experience itself is only part of the total enjoyment of travel. It begins with the planning and imagining stage and is only fully complete when their travel story is shared with others.”
In fact, according to a recent American Express Travel survey, nearly 50% of travelers across demographics agree that the ability to share travel experiences with family and friends via social media adds to the enjoyment of an overall trip. Further, recent Eye for Travel research shows that 70% of social media users update status/share photos while on vacation. Says Black, “Our SMCs are helping guests to do this in creative new ways that make the most of today’s rapidly changing technology.”
Black says the highly vetted SMCs were selected not only for the academic excellence and achievement but also for their demonstrated ability to serve others. Those lucky enough to have them on one of five tours this summer can expect them to be easily identifiable and available to help answer any social media questions, help navigate the process, take and set-up post-worthy photographs, assist with creation of video and explore the latest filters and special effects across apps.
In addition to their efforts with guests, SMCs will be putting their talents to work for CIE Tours, capturing authentic content that will be used on the brand-s social media channels as well as digital and print marketing materials.
“This summer is a sneak peak,” said Black. “While we fully expect that this program will be a success, we will review the impact of SMCs on our ability to delight guests as well as the quality of their efforts in strengthening our brand assets and roll out this program in an even more significant way in 2018.”
For more information about CIE Tours or to connect with one of the company’s 13 U.S. sales representatives, visit www.cietours.com or phone 1-800-243-8687.