What do MySpace, Pennsylvania's tourism office, Lufthansa, Hyatt, and W Hotels have in common?

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We suspect a trend. With the success of such sites as Facebook and myspace, some travel companies are hopping on the social media bandwagon.

A slew of new social media sites have launched recently: Starwood hotels' (including chains like W and Sheraton) The Lobby, Hyatt hotels' yattit, KLM airlines' Club Africa, and Lufthansa airlines' GenFly Lounge, targeted at the college crowd (normally Facebook's turf). [Thanks to Gulliver and Jaunted for the tips.]

But this is new to us: A state tourism site has begun to host a social media network!

Pennsylvania's new visitPA.com launched yesterday.

I gave the site a whirl and found that it doesn't take too long to sign up before you can start building road trips, complete with pictures and commentary. You can also sign in and comment on various activities under their "Things to Do" tab. Items include sporting events, outdoor recreation, and shopping.

There isn't much on visitPA.com right now, but it could become an interactive and fun way to share or pick up tips for traveling to the state. If, of course, people participate.

Pardon us while we do some shameless self-promotion. We recently launched my Budget Travel—our very own social media function where you can upload photos, videos, and trip diaries and share them with your fellow readers. And starting today, new members can enter and participate in a contest. The grand prize is a 7-night trip to Fiji for two. See details at www.budgettravel.com/fijicontest.

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