About The Author

David Grabitske

David Grabitske is the manager of outreach services at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In “A New Study Reveals Popularity of U.S. Cultural and Heritage Travel” on Gozaic a summary of new findings is provided. What caught my attention was that 42% of heritage travelers use Facebook. It would be interesting to know if there is any kind of a trend, or which of the many social media outlets heritage travelers are more likely to use.

How might historical organizations document changes in visitation based on social media?

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3 Responses to Heritage Tourists visit Facebook

  1. Perhaps this could be made into a broader question of how we survey our visitors and ask them: how did you hear about us? In the past, such options included, newspaper, radio, referral, etc. Now we should add Facebook, Myspace, etc.

    Do any organizations have this type of info request on their guest registers?


  2. Joe Hoover says:

    It is important to differentiate that 42% of heritage travelers use Facebook and not 42% of heritage travelers use Facebook for travel information. Another statistic that would be interesting is what percentage of heritage travelers use Facebook to preview a site or museum they may be thinking of visiting.

    As far as searching…
    There are some interesting stats on search from a survey done by Google in March 2005.

    A). Three-fourths (76%) of Google users say search engines are very/somewhat important for making travel purchase decisions

    B). A larger majority of Google users access travel information site using a search engine (85%) than by typing a web address (69%)


  3. Linda says:

    I enjoy reading these conversations as an “outsider” to museum services, yet a frequent traveler and museum visitor.

    In my travel preparations, Facebook and other social media sites are not usually my first contact with an organization. State or local visitors bureaus, Google searches, and travel sites are usually “where I heard” of an organization.

    However, when I visit the website of a location I’m considering visiting, if they have a link to a Facebook or Twitter page, I almost always follow on Twitter and fan on Facebook.

    If the Twitter and Facebooks are active, then, (and many have identical posts for both sites) I learn more about a place, which helps make a decision on ultimately visiting.

    Having active accounts is the key, though–letting people know of upcoming events, special holiday hours, etc. are good uses of social media. I also use Facebook and Twitter to interact with the organizations–asking questions like “do you have a picnic area available” or “can you suggest quieter times to visit.”

    Personally, I have never used a Facebook page to get basic information about a museum. I expect the information about hours, location, services, etc., to be on easily accessible on the organization’s web page.

    As an active user of social media, these are the way in which I use Facebook and Twitter when planning travel. Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.


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