It is not lost on me that in the very same issue in which we announce the winners of T+L’s first Social Media in Travel + Tourism (SMITTY) Awards, our cover story is on Slovenia, a European destination where time appears to have stood relatively still. Per Scott Spencer, the novelist and author of the feature, Slovenia is a place where you will not find cell phones arrayed on restaurant tables “like interactive bread plates”—a reality of dining in New York. Although I must admit that the pulsating New York bread plate may occasionally be mine, I can well understand the attraction to disconnecting. In fact, I would even conjecture that its appeal may be growing in direct proportion to the increasing web of digital connections that bind us together.
Social media has quickly emerged as the most powerful medium of electronic interaction in recent times, profoundly altering the way many of us navigate the world—and offering extraordinary new opportunities for travelers. Want restaurant and menu advice? Hotel and airline deals? To have your complaints heard—and quickly responded to? In “How Social Media Will Change the Way You Travel,” T+L’s tech expert, Tom Samiljan, highlights the apps, services, and best practices that will enable you to maximize your travel experiences using these invaluable resources. The accompanying list of SMITTY Award winners, from hotels and tourism boards to airlines, cruise lines, and car-rental agencies, reveals social media’s game-changing possibilities for the travel industry.
We at Travel + Leisure continue to stake out our world, providing authoritative insider accounts in both print and digital mediums on destinations that range from Slovenia to the parkland and towns along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina; the Hamptons, on New York’s Long Island; and Galicia and Barcelona. If you read a story in this issue that touches you, we hope you will share it with your friends and followers through Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest—and let me know, too. You can always reach me on Twitter @TLNancy.
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