The 28 winners were selected by a panel of social media and travel industry pros including Jonathan Crowley, Director of Business Development at Foursquare; Porter Gale, Virgin America’s former VP of Marketing; Peter Shankman, consultant, blogger, founder of Help A Reporter Out (HARO); Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Social; Sree Sreenivasan, Professor and Dean of Columbia’s School of Journalism; and Andrew Zimmerman, Creater and Host of “Bizarre Foods” on The Travel Channel.
The judges sifted through hundreds of submissions across three categories: Best Use of a Social Media Platform, Best Single Social Media Promotion, and Best Social Media Promotion of Travel Deals.
“Pinterest, Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Instagram, and a myriad of other social media sites have become powerful tools for sharing and recording our travels,” said Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure. “The winners of the first-ever SMITTYS are companies that are using social media creatively to enhance the travel experience for their customers and clients.”
The SMITTYS will also be featured in the Travel + Leisure July 2012 Strategies section “How Social Media Will Change the Way You Travel,” available on newsstands June 22, and in the July digital editions.