Business Travel Blogs a Popular Destination for Corporate Travelers

Posted on January 30, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

U.S. — It may be a little late to the game, but business travel is now the subject of a variety of blogs.

In the last two years, companies in the travel business including Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines have introduced blogs to promote their products and brand images, as have business travelers who want to narrate experiences and share complaints.

One of the newest sites useful to business travelers is BoardingArea.com, a portal created by Randy Petersen, the frequent-flier program expert and founder of the online forum FlyerTalk. BoardingArea is essentially a directory to blogs that address issues of interest to business travelers.

According to Forrester Research, in the second quarter of 2007, 2% of business travelers who use the Internet read blogs, not just ones about business travel, but also those involving sports, business, finance and other topics. “This indicates that organizing a portal for business travel blogs, especially with good content, means the site has potential,” said Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst for Forrester, a research firm.

Hotels, airlines and other companies in the travel business have also harnessed blogs to promote their brands and offer insights from their employees.

One of the most prominent bloggers is J. W. Marriott Jr., chairman and chief executive of Marriott International, who began a blog, Marriott on the Move, a year ago. It includes four or five posts a month and podcasts.

“I love it. I read an awful lot of responses we’re getting,” he said. “It gives us a chance to communicate with the world and a chance for people to communicate back.” Mr. Marriott’s blog has already attracted more than 345,000 visitors; as a result of this success, Marriott plans to add the blog to some of its foreign Web sites and has started a second blog, by its corporate chef.

The hotel chain Starwood started its blog, TheLobby.com, in April 2006 to provide information for participants in its loyalty program. Chris Holdren, vice president for Starwood Preferred Guest and global Web services, said the tone had changed since the blog’s introduction to allow the “perspectives of the bloggers to be brought to life.” They include four travel writers and some 70 Starwood employees.

Southwest Airlines has operated its staff-written blog, Nuts About Southwest, since April 2006. (The name refers to the carrier’s in-flight snack, peanuts.) Blogs can also be a quick way to gauge customer reaction to policies. Early last year, Bill Owen, a schedule planner at Southwest, wrote in a post that the airline sold its inventory only three months in advance. But after an outcry online, it changed its policy and now sells tickets at least four months in advance.

The blog had 500,000 unique visitors in 2007, said Linda Rutherford, Southwest’s vice president for public relations. The airline expects that to double this year.

Delta is one of the newer entrants to the blogosphere. Its platform, blog.delta.com, began last August, also with staff-written posts.In the next month, it will post proposed screen shots for its self-service kiosks on the blog to get feedback from travelers.

The portal BoardingArea.com not only lists these company blogs and those published by daily newspapers, but also features nine blogs started by individual business travelers, including one by Joe Sharkey, who also writes business travel columns for The New York Times.

Mr. Petersen says he will pay the nine bloggers to “consistently blog news and information.” He is also helping them sell what he calls sponsorships and is sharing revenue with the bloggers.

Brett Snyder, director of new products for the comparison-shopping site PriceGrabber.com and author of Cranky Flier, one of the nine blogs, hopes the portal will do more than earn him and Mr. Petersen money.

“It will help with exposure,” he said. “Business travelers will be able to come and read not just my blog, but others. I’m a big fan of sharing traffic, getting conversations going across blogs.”

SOURCE: New York Times

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Rhode Island Operation Buys Wedding Trolley Service

Operator John Olinger of ROCKSTAR LIMO / O2 Global plans to grow the fleet of Kenny's Coach and Trolleys.

Sister Duo Absorbs What Industry Offers

eNews Exclusive: Briana and Chelsea Candeub of Park Avenue Limousine have learned the importance of never letting educational opportunities pass them by.

Luxury Travel Trends Disrupting The Industry

Brands can no longer rely on low-hanging fruit. Instead, they need to implement differentiating strategies to succeed going forward.

Chosen Payments Assists Operator Who Was Scammed

A suspect used a mobile app to place ride orders directly into a New Jersey company's software system.

Young Limo Entrepreneur Makes His Mark On The Industry

ENEWS EXCLUSIVE: Moe Ahmed started his California-based company at 18 and proves anything is possible when you have an incredible work ethic.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - March 2017 $12.95 INT'L LCT SHOW ISSUE COVER STORY: * Innovate or Die: Show To Be a Business "Disrupter" * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close