Social media practitioners Becky McCray and Sheila Scarborough offer new course for tourism operators

Tourism CurrentsTourism these days is a significant element of the economy of many countries and according to one report I read the share of tourism in international gross national income is 6%. Tourism also plays an important role in specific regions and localities.

And like any social media professional who travels, domestically or internationally, I see examples all the time of where the tourism opportunities of particular places could be enhanced significantly by some astute use of social media.

Closer to home, I live in a small town which has a strong focus on tourism and is this weekend seeing an influx of thousands of visitors for an annual festival and still I see opportunities going to waste. Often, I believe, because the business owners just don’t know what’s possible. I mean, we’re in a prime whale-watching area and you could go through this town and not know it.

But where is a busy manager of a local tourism information center, or a B&B owner or cafe proprietor or tour operator going to find the time to go and do courses on social media for tourism. And how would they know whether the people delivering the course could help them in practical ways? Give them value for money

Enter Becky McCray and Sheila Scarborough and their Tourism Currents, delivered online and priced not to need a bumper season or extra bank loan to pay for it.

I was and am very excited that Becky and Sheila got together to develop and deliver this course. I’m saying that not just because they are my friends, which I am proud to say they are. The fact is, these are two of the most practical and at the same time most clued-in people I know on the social media front. And each has her particular strengths. Becky, for instance, understands at first hand the challenges of being a small business owner and doing that in a small rural community: that’s why other small business owners pay her to consult with them – she walks her talk. Sheila, an inveterate traveller and former senior officer in the Navy, has first hand experience of many places, across the USA and around the globe. To adapt slightly the words of an old song, she joined the Navy and has seen the world.

Both are born teachers, quick on the uptake and each with a great sense of humor. I know that anyone in the tourism and hospitality industry who does their course and doesn’t immediately get ideas and practical tools for improving their business will not have been paying attention.

And yes, I am privileged to be an affiliate of their program. But they know I would be recommending them anyway.

To find out more, check out the Tourism Currents site. And if this is not for you, perhaps you know someone in the industry who might find this of interest.

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).