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Resort Taps Twitter for Room Giveaway
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May 18, 2009

Resort Taps Twitter for Room Giveaway

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor

Companies are using Twitter for more than just communicating. An Asheville, North Carolina resort recently used the social networking site to launch a room giveaway to help promote its 96th birthday.

The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa resort last week gave Twitter followers an offer they couldn’t refuse. The first 96 callers who dialed a toll-free number could win a free one-night stay at the historic hotel.
And it worked. In less than 90 minutes, all 96 of the rooms had been claimed, the hotel said. The resort ran the promotion to publicize its 96th birthday. The inn, which was built in 1912, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of Historic Hotels of America and among Travel + Leisure’s Top 13 Spa Resorts in the world. The site includes spa, dining, tennis, swimming, a sports complex, retail shops, nightly entertainment and children's programs.
Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows friends, family, and co-workers to stay connected through the exchange of short, quick answers using no more than 140 characters per message.
The effort is part of a larger move by local companies to reach consumers and stay relevant by using social networking site. According to an AdAge report, a number of small businesses are using Twitter as a marketing tool.
Already, there seems to be a calling for Tweets in the hospitality industry.
“There certainly is a developing trend for the hospitality industry to promote on Twitter,” said Ron Morin, Executive Director of Operations at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, in a statement. “With our move toward more of an online presence Twitter seemed a unique way to give away 96 free stays.”
While the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa isn’t the first hotel to offer such a giveaway using Twitter, the inn gave away more stays than others, the company said. And based on its success, the resort plans to stay in touch with guests using the service.
Other hoteliers are exploring the tool. Hyatt hotels recently announced it would use Twitter to respond to concierge services, the Journal Sentinel reports.
While overall usage of Twitter is still in its infancy, other organizations are exploring the use of the social networking tool. U.S. military branches, for example, are getting in on the action. The Air Force, as well as the Navy have Twitter feeds. What’s more, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has even added the micro-blogging service to the national emergency response network.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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