2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Stories Travel Fast: Tech Tourism Transformation

#sxsw #TravelTech


How do you bring a travel destination to life using technology and digital storytelling? In 2010 direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $2 billion a day, $86.6 million an hour, $1.4 million a minute, and $24,000 a second. The number has only risen since. Clearly travel is a significant industry, but in many ways slow to adopt new technologies. This panel is an examination of a digital savvy, experience-driven travel culture from the professionals tasked with using the online to kick you offline. Digital platforms are facilitating immersive video experiences, real-time tours and peer-to-peer experience commerce. From discovery sites that allow groups of adventure travelers to help each other explore the hidden wonders of the world, to storytellers using the web to weave dynamic narratives, digital is ultimately changing our path to inspiration and the tools for which we research, book and explore the world at large.



Dylan Thuras


Atlas Obscura

Dylan's pursuit of the unusual began as a teenager exploring abandoned buildings in the mid-west and eventually took him and his wife Michelle to Budapest, to explore Eastern Europe's hidden and wondrous locales.

After co-producing an evening of wonders with Joshua Foer, the two began hatching plans for their next big project. Creating a way for curious travelers to find the hidden wonders of the world seemed like a lot of fun, and the Atlas Obscura was born.


Jimmy Keown

Sr Digital Strategic Planner

Digitaria Interactive

I've made it my mission to always be one step ahead. Fueling client business and communications through a creative and thoughtful strategic approach. The core of my passion involves nurturing transformational ideas and integrating them across the appropriate platforms, communities and technology.

My experiences have introduced me to a multitude of brands and business challenges - ranging from blue-chips to local non-profits and even retail giants. Ultimately, I believe in the ability to adapt, and I've found that this vision, coupled with the right amount of drive, can solve multidimensional problems that we face today and that we will face tomorrow.


Leslie Guettler


Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Leslie Guettler is the founder Career Girl Travels Blog, a travelogue aimed at working professionals, and has nearly a decade of social media travel experience. She is currently the social media manager for Discover Los Angeles, a social media trailblazer in the travel arena and the first CVB to reach over 1 Million likes on Facebook. Leslie manages the content, strategy and analysis for all social media entities for Los Angeles Tourism. Previously, she launched the social media division of hospitality firm Bread & Butter Public Relations, and has worked with brands like California Pizza Kitchen and Millennium Hotels & Resorts.


Seth Kugel

Journalist/Travel Writer

The New York Times

I'm a freelance journalist who currently writes the Frugal Traveler column for the The New York Times. Before that, I lived in Brazil, where I was correspondent for GlobalPost and a contributor to the Times; I've also covered the Bronx, immigration, and plenty of other stuff. I've got a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard, for what that's worth, and speak Spanish and Portuguese.

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