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New Orleans Among Travel’s “Tweet Elite” in Latest Research
How the Nation’s Top Travel Marketers are Using Twitter

NEW YORK, New York-July 27, 2009 – New Orleans was named one of the top U.S. destinations to market its city via Twitter, according to a report released by New York-based destination marketing firm, Development Counsellors International (DCI).

The study’s objective was to determine how destination organizations – generally the Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) – are leveraging one of the fastest-growing social media tools, Twitter, to market their communities and create a dialogue among potential visitors.

The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau consistently ranked among the highest based on a number of marketing factors DCI analyzed to determine which cities are using this social media phenomenon most effectively. Other cities ranking in the top five “Tweet Elite” include Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco and Tampa Bay.

With the growth of the social networking site and its ability to deliver real-time information to millions of people instantly, Twitter is a service that individuals and businesses across many industries are embracing. For the travel industry, estimates claim that more than 300 CVBs have Twitter accounts.

Marketing effectiveness, however, goes beyond the amount of followers or updates a CVB makes. While the “Tweet Elite” did have large numbers of followers and updates, they also ranked highest in connecting with potential visitors, community partners and other important constituents.

“If engaging your followers on Twitter is the key to using Twitter effectively, then having the most Tweets or followers isn’t enough,” said Andy Levine, President of DCI. “Twitter must be utilized to connect on a more personal level. In social media, we don't just tell stories; we participate in storytelling.”

DCI analyzed and compared nearly 3,000 Tweets posted by the largest CVBs in the U.S. during a 30-day period from May 1, 2009, to May to 31, 2009. These groups represent the major destinations (by population) in the nation’s top 50 MSAs.

Additional findings in the report include the types of Tweets each destination marketer uses, although not necessarily the most effective, and the percentage of Twitter activity each category consumes. The types of Tweets most often used are:

Ø Announcements about upcoming local events/news – 54 percent

Ø Social Tweets – 28 percent

Ø Replies to followers – 20 percent

Ø Deals (both travel and non-travel related) – 17 percent

Ø Re-Tweets from community partners – 13 percent

Taking into account “replies to followers;” “re-Tweets from community partners;” “social Tweets;” “deals;” and “contests” when conducting the study, DCI also looked at the interaction level with a CVB’s followers.

Messages to potential visitors and to community partners have the effect of building relationships, according to Mr. Levine. Users who follow their community partners and copy their news to their own page are taking a step further by solidifying their relationships, he said.

To view the full report, visit


About Development Counsellors International
Considered the leader in marketing places, Development Counsellors International (DCI) specializes in tourism and economic development marketing. The agency has worked for more than 350 cities, regions, states and countries since it was first established in New York City in 1960.