Vote 1 for Wollongong!

UOW’s Institute for Innovation in Business and Social Research (IIBSoR) is working with Destination Wollongong in an attempt to secure an international social media symposium -- and with it hundreds of delegates from around the world.

Wollongong is one of seven finalists fighting to host the 2013 Social Media Tourism Symposium, a premiere conference for tourism professionals looking to share ideas, network and discover opportunities in social media for destination marketing.

The conference has been held in the US for the past three years.

To win, Wollongong is going head-to-head in a Facebook vote-off with other Australian destinations in the running. These competitors include Melbourne, the Great Barrier Reef, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Townsville and Margaret River.

Currently, Townsville is in the lead with Wollongong in second place – so organisers are seeking support from the region to put Wollongong on top.

Benefits of winning the opportunity to host SoMeT 2013 are far reaching. It will boost Wollongong’s standing in the social media space, as well as heightening tourism exposure for the region around the world.

These benefits will greatly assist the research of IIBSoR's Associate Professor Ulrike Gretzel. She collaborates with tourism organisations across Australia as well as internationally, including Destination Wollongong. 

They have worked closely on several research projects including last year's study on digital natives and their use of social media.  The study, funded by Destination Wollongong, showed that while digital natives are generally heavy users of social media they still like to talk to people face-to-face and actually long for authentic, unique and technology-free tourist experiences.

To vote, visit the ‘Social Media Tourism Symposium’ Facebook page and vote for Wollongong. The first round of voting runs until Friday 22 February and you can vote once a day.

Voting must be done from a desktop or laptop in order to vote (one cannot vote from a mobile device).


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