San Juan Marriott Resort Gets Facebook and Web2.0

In what many are calling the next phase in the evolution of blogging, user-generated content, and publishing, Compleo, has built and released a new application within Facebook. The new application, iGO iWRITE is an online travel article submission platform which is going to allow Compleo to receive amateur travel writing for publication in an upcoming book. Amazon, Borders, and other major book sellers will offer the travel compendium for sale when it is completed.

iGO iWRITE allows writers and adventure seekers to post their travel stories, vote on their favorites, and ultimately publish in hard copy the first user-generated travel series written entirely on Facebook. And while this is a very interesting experiment, in of itself, what I find more interesting is how quickly the San Juan Marriott Resort has launched a promotion offering free travel in conjunction with the new application.

San Juan Marriott "Vacation 2.0" package


According to a press release by the hotel, "If seeing your name in print isn't incentive enough to write about your travels, the San Juan Marriott is sweetening the pot a bit with the chance to win five years of free vacation at the resort if you get your story published after staying at the hotel. Guests who book the resort's "Vacation 2.0" package and then have their travel story from the trip selected for publication in one of the iGO iWRITE books, will enjoy 35 free nights or one week a year for five years."

"Social media, such as Facebook, and user generated content is the way of the future and we are fully supportive of the process and its growing momentum. This promotion is intended to get our guests involved in the process and encourage them to voice their opinions...good, bad or ugly," said Director of Marketing at the San Juan Marriott Resort Julian Cable-Treadwell. "We are not soliciting positive reviews, just trying to encourage our guests to get involved in the conversation."
"Vacation 2.0" is a three night/four day package starting at $1,182, based on double occupancy, excluding taxes and fees. In order to help the writing process while still on vacation and the memories are fresh, the package includes an oceanfront room so the waves can provide soothing background music and the view as inspiration; a complementary bottle of wine to help the creative juices flow and of course, free internet access so guests can write from the comfort of their room or balcony. Plus, in order to fill the need for experiences to write about, a massage at the Ocean Club Spa, a tour of Old San Juan and Salsa Lessons are also included in the package.

To book "Vacation 2.0" call 1.888.817.2033 or visit the "Vacation 2.0 at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino" offer page. The package is available for booking now through February 1st, 2009. Stories must be submitted to iGO iWRITE via Facebook by February 28, 2009 for prize eligibility.

Conclusion

I think this is an amazing promotion. It demonstrates a unique understanding of what connects with Internet users and provides them with an extremely attractive way to engage them. It should be very appealing to a very targeted travel market, while at the same time tempting enough to make others intrigued about the application and the hotel. I give it two thumbs way up! This is the future of tourism marketing.