Tourism symposium sought for Vancouver likely headed to Texas

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Vancouver — A symposium on social media in the tourism industry, which once seemed a possibility for the Hilton Vancouver Washington, is likely to be held in El Paso, Texas, the leading finalist in a three-week 16-city online competition that concluded Monday.

On Monday, the event’s sponsors announced that El Paso and Milwaukee are the two finalists, and that there would be no vote between the two. Keeping two options gives organizers more flexibility in logistics, but on their Facebook page they note a number of measures that make El Paso the clear favorite.

After defeating Vancouver on March 26, Pocono Mountains, Pa., made it into the final four before losing to Milwaukee. More than 200 people are expected to attend the 2012 Social Media in Tourism Symposium, scheduled for Nov. 7-9.

Vancouver lost narrowly in the first round of online voting to Pocono Mountains, despite an aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign on Facebook and Twitter led by the Vancouver USA Regional Tourism office. Vancouver had been ranked No. 2 going into the competition based on criteria including proximity to the airport, hotel room rates and availability.