Local members of the technology and tourism industry learned how to use technology to boost their business during an event in downtown Buffalo yesterday.
More than 175 people attended Visit Buffalo Niagara's third annual Destination Marketing Summit in the convention center. One of the keynote speakers, Tom Martin, says given the popularity of social media, it's one of the most effective ways to boost tourism.
"Nowadays people just open their computers or their phones and they're going and they're saying, 'Hey, where have my friends been? Where are they going? What looks cool? What they're doing?' And that's really a lot of what we talked about with some of the research that shows that's the everyday activity of today's users."
To help stand out in the crowd, Martin suggests local restaurants, hotels and attractions do special things that can inspire their guests to share it on social media.
"If they see enough of that from enough people then what happens is they go, 'Wow, Buffalo's kind of cool. I didn't think it was a neat city,'" Martin said.
"It starts to change their perception of Buffalo and over time that perception then changes to a place where they want to actually come here and experience it themselves because it looks so cool in their friends feed."
The Destination Summit also included sessions on "How To Create the Perfect Hospitality Team," "Travel Trends and Reputation Management" and how to "Respond to Online Reviews."