Twitter is not just a tool that travel agents can use to market and grow their businesses. It is also a source that agents can tap to improve their knowledge of the industry. While there are many impressive accounts that provide stunning photos and location scouting, there are a few that are truly useful for travel agents, and a few others that will actually improve job performance.
Here are some must-follow travel Twitter accounts that agents just diving into Twitter, or those who have been on since its start, should follow in order to get the most out of this popular social media network:
There are few things more exhausting than a bad trip through airport security, and while there are guidelines at most airport security checkpoints, sometimes those guidelines become less clear with the constant rules and regulations changes from the Transportation Security Administration.
Luckily, there is a place to get easy answers directly from the source. The TSA’s support Twitter account allows you to communicate with a representative and get answers in real time. Just tweet @AskTSA with your concern and an agent will get back to you in no time.
Aside from some stunning photos and facts, FlightRadar24 provides live air traffic updates about service changes, delays, cancellations, and flight milestones to its 391,000 or so followers.
Any time a plane makes an emergency landing or a route change, FlightRadar24 posts an update. The company also makes the info available on its mobile app, which is downloadable through the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Department of State (@StateDept)
In today’s world of warnings, agents can stay on top of things by following the State Department’s official Twitter account. It is not the most exciting Twitter account that agents can follow, but the information is invaluable, comes in real time, and is directly from the source making major decisions.
Any time there is a new travel warning or news about a visa program, the Statement Department will issue a notice on its Twitter feed, more often than not with a link to the full release.
CLIA Global (@CLIAGlobal)
Whether or not you are a CLIA-member travel agent or a part of a member agency, following the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Twitter account is a good step to take to stay informed on everything happening on the water.
For CLIA’s Cruise Month in October, CLIA’s Twitter account was the only place agents could get their hands on CLIA giveaways such as Amazon gift cards, cruise line merchandise, and their very own sailings.
CLIA executives, including Vice President Charles Sylvia (@CLIAVeep) and President and CEO Cindy D’Aoust (@CindyDAoust), are also on Twitter.
Aside from spreading industry news, the American Society of Travel Agents' (ASTA) Twitter account does a good job of sharing announcements related to the association, from credentials to fam trips to agendas for destination expos and more.
For any ASTA member who might struggle to keep up with the latest in ASTA-supported legislation or ASTA-supported conferences, following its Twitter account makes it easy.
Bonus: Travel Executives
Separate from the official Twitter accounts of travel companies, agents can stay up to date with news and get to know the personalities of some of the bigger names in the industry simply by hitting the Follow button on these names:
Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line: @NCLAndy.
Adolfo Perez, vice president of sales and marketing at Carnival Cruise Line: @Adolfo_at_CCL.
Brett Tollman, CEO and president of The Travel Corporation: @BrettTollman.
Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president of sales and trade support at Celebrity Cruises: @DondraCel.
Edie Rodriguez, Ponant Cultural Cruises & Expeditions as Americas brand chairman and corporate special advisor: @EdieRodriguez.
Ellen Bettridge, CEO and president of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Collection: @BettridgeEllen.
Filip Boyen, CEO for Small Luxury Hotels of the World: @SLHLuxuryHotels.
Geoffrey Kent, founder, chairman, and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent: @Geoffrey_Kent.
Josh Leibowitz, chief strategy officer at Carnival Cruise Line and senior vice president of Cunard North America: @Joshleibowitz.
Ken Muskat, CEO of SkySea Cruise Line: @KenMuskat.
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruise: @LisaLutoffPerlo.
Mike Rea, Tourism Cares CEO: @philanthromike.
Vicki Freed, senior vice president of sales and trade support at Royal Caribbean International: @VickiLovesTAs.
Bonus: Travel Market Report
Don’t forget to follow TMR on Twitter here.