It’s All About Experiences & Engagement: Tourism Australia & Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, Groundhog Day & Foursquare

Today, 02 Feb., is Groundhog Day in the US and Canada and this day every year the small city of Punxsutawney takes the national stage. Now with the advent of social media, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office is hoping to bring the city and its beloved tradition into the global spotlight.

And the tool of choice is Foursquare, the location-based, mobile platform that uses brightly colored badges as incentives for amassing check-ins at restaurants, tourist attractions, events and the like.

Foursquare users will be able to receive the Groundhog Day badge by following @VisitPA on the social network and checking in using the word “groundhog.” The badge will only be available from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Groundhog Day.

Now in its second year, the Groundhog Day badge has been record-breaking. It was unlocked by 27,846 users in 2011, more than any sponsored badge to that date

The badge is also representative of a unique partnership between the state of Pennsylvania and Foursquare. Pennsylvania is the first and only state to use Foursquare to promote more than 200 of its state tourist attractions.

Since the 2011 Groundhog Day badge, the tourism bureau has launched four badges, three of which have been retired. The remaining badge, called the Lock and Keystone badge, can be won by checking into five tagged locations across the commonwealth. Tagged locations include museums, restaurants and wine trails.

VisitPA has been a fantastic partner over the past year plus, working on not only badges, but user and merchant engagement,” according to a Foursquare Media Relations representative.

For the tourism office, the partnership with Foursquare has introduced Pennsylvania attractions to a global audience. Foursquare has 15 million users worldwide who have checked in at more than 1.5 billion locales, according to its website. Since its Foursquare launch, the tourism office’s account @visitPA has gained nearly 97,000 followers. More than 67,800 of those followers have unlocked one of its sponsored badges.

Groundhog Day badges are especially great because they’re available worldwide. Everyone in the world gets a chance to think about Pennsylvania — and visiting there — for one day, which is of even bigger importance to the Pennsylvania tourism officials  than getting people who are already in Pennsylvania to earn the badge.

Even though it’s not just about followers, it is worth mentioning that since the announcement of the 2012 Groundhog Day badge on Jan. 23, the @visitPA Foursquare account has grown by 1,200 followers.


100 Amazing Australian Experiences

A new campaign has just launched from Tourism Australia New Zealand, Fairfax media and Qantas.

We love this collaborative initiative, which manages to combine deep market intelligence, user generated content and a holistic presentation of the full package of tourism products and destinations.

The month-long digital campaign showcases 100 amazing Australian experiences, as chosen by Kiwi travel editors and experts. Launched on Australia Day with idyllic coastal experiences, the campaign also promotes Australia’s must-do journeys, nature experiences and events.

Each week, readers can vote for their favourite experience for the chance to win a $10,000 Australian holiday.  The campaign’s next phase will reveal the list ‘as voted for’ by Kiwis, along with the most travelled Kiwi of Australia.

100 Amazing Australian Experiences sits on the Australia Travel section of, alongside national news stories, lifestyle content and experience postcards. It’s supported by Tourism Australia social media and e-dm activity, as well as Qantas marketing.


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