Destination Marketing: Use Your Babies, Bananas & more

As a fact, major events can have a major impact on the visitor economy of their host destinations, but it is up to the destination tourism authorities to set how much. It is also up to the destination to think outside the box and try to capitalize on every single – or set of- strength and assets it has to support its tourism marketing efforts. In a few words….Go bananas…

As the royal baby is now born, we also take a look at how UK tourism agencies approached this special event to capitalize on the world wide interest, marketing the royal birth and the whole destination at the same time.

Bananas:  The Equador Ambassadors

Ecuador has decided to let one of its largest exports advertise the country as a tourism destination through QR codes, with its Banana Ambassador campaign.

Since the main tourism issue the country faced was the lack of adequate international awareness and considering the lack of a large enough advertising budget to change that, the Tourism Ministry decided to leave that up to the 24 million tons of bananas it exports worldwide each year.

Each banana now contains a QR code on its sticker to encourage consumers to learn more about where their food comes from. When they scan the code, they are led through to a promotional video for the country, and then the Ministry of Tourism website.

Royal Baby & Digital Tourism Promotion

With all the craze surrounding the Royal Baby birth, there came the UK’s opportunity for an anticipated increase in tourism numbers and the  tourism authorities tried to capitalize on it at the maximum. Here is a selection which shows an integrated approach across digital channels.

Visit London, featured special articles and cross promoted relevant family attractions and sights all over London via its Blog, its website featured a dedicated Royal Baby page, while it also promoted its special Royal Baby merchandise.

VL page

VisitBritain used Twitter & Facebook to communicate the occasion while at the same time promoting any relevant aspect of the destination there is. From offering tips on tours for “Top Will & Kate sights” to the “trail of young royals throughout history”, the relevant tweets and Facebook posts are constant.

The agency is using this special event opportunity to further promote the country as an ideal family destination:

VB Tweet

while also moving traffic to its other digital channels, such as their Pinterest account with dedicated photos and albums:

VB Pinterest

Glasgow & the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) has just unveiled its new branding, “PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW”, placing the people of Glasgow at the heart of the new brand after it had asked their views during the past months. The brand is designed to highlight the essence of the spirit that transformed from a degraded rust belt city that lost its ship building industry into a city whose top resource is the intelligence, creativity and innovation of its people.


In parallel, VisitScotland has recently revealed the first details of its campaign to promote Glasgow and the wider country in the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games as it is planning to spend £2.5m, marketing the event nationally and internationally.

The agency has already targeted thousands of potential domestic visitors, through a series of direct mailing initiatives and e-zines. Television adverts will be shown across the UK and Ireland later this year. Fam trips are being organized for select travel trade representatives while sales missions will also take place in target markets.


As the Games will attract athletes and officials from 71 nations and territories, VisitScotland said it planned to use the enthusiasm generated by London 2012, with marketing in the South East of England, as well as focusing on the North West of England, including Manchester, host of the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

As the Tourism Ministry stated, “Our message is clear: enjoy a magnificent Commonwealth Games, enjoy one of the best cities in the world – now go and enjoy the rest of Scotland.”

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