World Travel Market is to launch a travel blog for the first time as part of a social media programme at this year’s show.

The WTM Social Media Programme has been put together with the aim of increasing communication within the online travel community, especially during the show on November 7-10, 2011.

The World Travel Blogspot goes lives in September. It will cover international travel related topics based on WTM’s events programme and encourage travel communities globally to share comments and tweets.

In addition, WTM will run paid-for social media webinars to help travel companies develop and manage effective social media campaigns. The theme for the webinars will be ‘Social Media Business Class – how to future proof your travel business’.

At the show itself there will be a two-day Social Travel Market (STM) on Wednesday, November 9, and Thursday, November 10, in North Gallery Rooms 4 and 5. It will include competitions, keynote speeches, panel debates and practical workshops covering issues such as the return on investment of paid travel blogging; video as a social media tool; the perfect travel tweet and how to ‘supercharge’ your blog.

Travel writer Mark Frary, who is organising the event with The Sunday Times online travel editor Steve Keenan, said: “Social Travel Market is aimed at bloggers, digital marketing executives, PRs and anyone in the travel industry interested in tools such as Facebook, WordPress, Twitter and the next generation of networks such as Google+.”

Speakers already lined up include Fortune Cookie’s Justin Cooke; Granturismo’s Lara Dunston; VisitBritain’s Pleasance Coddington; and Juantxo Llantada, of the Valencia Regional Tourist Board. STM is free for WTM visitors.

In addition, on Monday November 7, the topic for the International Federation for Information Technologies in Travel and Tourism (IFITT) Conference will run at WTM with a workshop to discuss technology and social media enabled real-time service management in hospitality and tourism. The keynote speaker will be professor Dimitrios Buhalis, e-tourism specialist from Bournmouth University.

On Tuesday November 8, travel technology consultancy Genesys is hosting a session on Making the Most of Social Media, from 2pm to 3pm at Platinum Suite 1. Genesys senior partner Paul Richer will discuss how to make social media work for your organisation.

On the same day, Travel Bloggers Unite will present case studies on the best practice for working with travel bloggers and how they can provide return on investment for your organisation. This takes place in North Gallery Room 8 from 3.30pm to 4.30pm.

Delegates will be encouraged to tweet during the panel sessions and presentations. For the full events programme go to Follow @WTM_London on Twitter and World Travel Market on Facebook and Linkedin.