Using Celebrities for Destination Marketing: 9+1 celebrity tourism campaigns

Many DMOs are using celebrities to promote their destinations both domestically & internationally. While asking from a celebrity to join a tourism campaign might be considered as a rather expensive option, it still seems that it is one of the best choices to get marketing ROI and spread the word about your destination’s brand to much wider audiences that the typical tourism campaigns. However, linking your destination’s brand with just one single person might be quite risky sometimes since you are relying on the demographic reach of each celebrity and the brand values that he/she is associated with (not just as a movie star or a sports idol but also with his choices in his personal life). The point is that when a celebrity lends their voice, a larger audience tends to listen.

Lets us go through 9 +1 popular celebrity tourism campaigns and feel free to comment on your favorite one.

10. Bollywood King Akshay Kumar as a Canadian tourism ambassador to India – Canada Tourism Comission 2010

9. Friends of Australia – Tourism Australia 2010

8.”You Gotta Be Here”  (Kim Cattrall, Steve Nash, Sarah McLachlan and Michael J. Fox) – British Columbia/Canada 2010

7.  ‘Fall in Love with Louisiana All Over Again’ –

6. ”California Calling” (Pamela Anderson) – Visit California 2009

5. ”My Houston” – (ZZ Top) – Visit Houston Texas 2009

4. Find Yourself Here (California’s new TV Ad with Beck’s, Rob Lowe and Arnold Schwarzenegger) Visit California 2009

4. “Once you Go, you Know” (Usain Bolt Pose) Jamaican Tourism Board – 2010

3. “Come and say G’day” (or else Paul Hogan’s famous “Shrimp on the barbie” quote – Australia Tourism Commission 1984

2. ”Just ask the Locals” – nycgo 2008

and for the Number One I vote for a campaign which surprisingly is not produced by a DMO but inspires you the most.

Please enjoy Luis Vuitton’s Journeys & Core Values  campaigns.

Classy, Emotional, Inspiring – exactly what someone needs to start planning his/her next trip.

London by keith Richards

Paris by Catherine Deneuve

Madrid – Pele – Maradona – Zidane

Buenos Aires – Louis Vuitton Core Values Ad Campaign: The Coppolas

Bahamas – Louis Vuitton Core Values Ad Campaign: Sean Connery

Please take a moment to read Petra Glover’s article on the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management titled ”Celebrity Endorsement in Tourism Advertising: Effects on Destination Image

8 thoughts on “Using Celebrities for Destination Marketing: 9+1 celebrity tourism campaigns

  1. Excellent post and excellent site. Danni Minogue recently was positioned within a UK marketing campaign by Tourism Queensland. (

    The benefits are obvious, however, choosing the correct celebrity should be a serious challenge and should take some smart branding.

    The link to Glover’s article is broken I think.

    Quick question. How were you able to attain access to her article? I do think it is a brilliant idea of linking academia with social blogging!

    Well done!

    1. Thanks for your nice words & new info. Didn’t know about Danni Minogue’s clip. As you said, using celebrities could be proved quite risky, however, more and more DMOs are trusting their brands intro ”celebrity” hands. Smart or not? It depends on the case..

      Glover’s article link seem to work now – excellent piece of work. If you still have problems opening it, just google the title and you’ll get it. It appears to be open for everyone to download it.


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