Social Media - A new era of crisis communications in tourism


17 May 2011


Social media plays an important role in the crisis communications of the travel and tourism sector. The dissemination of facts, messages, opinions through Twitter, Facebook and other platforms has gained importance when reporting about emergencies, accidents and catastrophes. Consumers as well as journalists are using those platforms to retrieve information while companies and destinations are learning to work with them in an adequate and professional manner.With this workshop, UNWTO in cooperation with the DRV, Tourismuszukunft and the University of Eichstätt focused on the role, techniques and best practices of the travel and tourism sector when working with social media during crisis situations. In three sessions, tendencies, techniques and best practices were discussed how social media are generally influencing the communication line.

During this workshop, experts like, Dr. Christoph Engl, Director of the South Tyrol Marketing Company, Mr. Marco Dall'Asta, Head of Online Communication of Lufthansa, and Dr. Dirk Glaesser, Manager of the Risk and Crisis Management Progamme of UNWTO reported from their experiences. They exposeed the potential of modern communication and presented best practice cases of developments, practices and successful approaches to contemporary crisis PR. Mr. John Kuhn of Süddeutsche Zeitung portrayed the importance of social media in the traditional media industry. Ms. Melanie Gerhardt, Head of Security and Crisis Management for DERTOUR illustrated how the basic rules of crisis communication have changed through social media and Mr. Olaf Collet, in charge of the crisis management for DRV, gave an insight of the crisis coordination at the level of the DRV.

A blog was set up to invite participants to exchange ideas in advance to the workshop (hashtag # WSKKT2011).

This event was supported by Audi AG and sponsored by the Factory Outlet Village Ingolstadt.

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Videos, Comments and more at:!/WSKKT2011