Tourism events highlights at FITA 2012In tourism, we all want the same thing – more visitors. And to do that we provide a variety of tourism events and great personal experiences.  Nowhere was I more aware of that than at FITA 2012 in Mexico City in September.  As a first timer to FITA, I was amazed by the size and scope of this particular travel trade show.

Tourism events from around the world at FITA 2012


It truly was international with countries from all over the world represented. Now I’ve attended my fair share of global tourism tradeshows over the years, but FITA was mammoth and the booths were the best I have ever seen.

Good Grief!  We have the same tourism events!!

Each country featured their various destinations as well as highlighting their variety of events.  The second day of the show I attended a press conference that is the basis for this post.  The conference, by the state of Quintana Roo, showcased their upcoming tourism events.  Film festivals, jazz festivals, sporting events…they all play a big part in the annual calendar for the state.  If you’re in destination marketing, I bet you’re planning the exact same type of tourism events for your area too.  Riviera Maya is having a film festival followed by a jazz festival featuring jazz great Poncho Sanchez.  Well guess what?  In my small community we do the exact same thing, in the exact same order and this year our jazz festival featured none other than Poncho Sanchez.  How many of you are in the planning stages for your next film and jazz festivals?

Our tourism efforts are all fairly similar

Yes, we all seem to be working on the same things with regard to tourism.  FITA 2012 really brought to my attention how similar our tourism efforts are globally.  But why are some destinations more successful than others with their events?  Yes, you can say budget plays a big part in how successful events are, but I don’t think that has to be key anymore.

Promotion, connection, and engagement are what make events successful these days.  By using all social media channels, you can build your audience and build the success of your event.  Utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, even Foodspotting you can reach a variety of audiences and grow your attendance.

FITA 2012 did an excellent job with their social media

Tourism was on display at FITA 2012

FITA did a tremendous job via Facebook and Twitter this year.  Their posts, 3 and 4 times per day, got me excited before I went – their Facebook presence in particular was stellar.  FITA also retweeted the tweets I made from the event almost immediately. I would give them no less than a 10 for the job that their social media team did.

So as we’re all planning tourism events, remember that so many of our events are the same and tweak your thinking as to how you can grow your attendance by being more social, by engaging more people and continually building up your event via social media.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much money you put towards something, it’s the extra mileage that you receive from those who you excite that can make or break your event.