Do you have an itch to travel the world? Unless you’ve lived on the cheap and saved up for years, most people can’t afford to jet-set around the world to experience new cultures, food, and exotic locations. Luckily, if you use social media, you may be able to tweet and blog your way to a trip around the world.
Many tourism groups are now leveraging the power of social media to draw visitors to their countries. The Japan Tourism Agency recently announced a a proposal to give 10,000 free round trip tickets to social media users to help promote the country as a destination and generate buzz about the country online. Japan has been recently plagued by earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear issues. As a result, tourism has suffered. For travelers who want to visit the country, you may soon be able to win your way by visiting a Web site and detailing why you deserve the trip.
Japan is not the first to utilize social media to attract attention to their country as a destination and draw more tourists as a result. Both Thailand and the Australian state of Queensland have also recently run competitions based primarily as blogs to win trips to the countries — and even in the case of Queensland, live and work there for a year.
However, finding the ability travel the world — especially at a low cost — doesn’t require winning an international social media contest. Consider spending time finding the Twitter accounts of hospitality and tourism agencies in the country where you want to visit, as well as airlines that service local airports. While you likely won’t find a way to travel, live, or eat for free, you may discover discounts that aren’t advertised or that are known only to locals. Facebook is also a great way to find local hospitality to establish a relationship that could not only financially benefit you, but also lead you away from other tourist traps during your stay.
Have you used social media to help travel abroad? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments.