Alternative Joint Marketing Initiatives- Get Inspired!

We really like seeing fresh marketing initiatives inspired by authentic destination characteristics and products and powered by a collaborative spirit with a purpose.

The  Alabama Tourism Department released a CD with the top 11 songs from the Year of Alabama Music Songwriters Contest, to be used in a new marketing campaign focusing on road trips; Jordan Tourism Board, developed an innovative marketing initiative, collaborating with travel bloggers in order to utilize their blog content on Jordan for a new marketing campaign;  while the country also partnered with Google in order to advance its online search visibility. Presidents’ Passport is a joint marketing initiative designed to showcase the early American history and culture of Charlottesville region along with its close connections with important US Presidents.

Alabama Road Songs for Tourism

After a state songwriters’ contest linked to the Year of Alabama Music,  the Alabama Tourism Department released a CD titled Alabama Road Songs, featuring eleven songs from top competitors. The disc was officially launched on December ’11, with an event where songwriters featured on the album presented their songs and shooting accompanying videos.

The Alabama Tourism Department sponsored the CD and the title and artwork was created to coincide with the 2012 tourism campaign “100 Alabama Road Trips”. The songs are about Alabama and were written by songwriters who live in or are from the state. All tracks on “Alabama Road Songs” deliver positive messages about the state and extol its virtues. What a great way to emphasize your tourism product!

The cover of the CD shows a 1953 baby blue Cadillac parked near a pier on Lake Guntersville. The photo represents the road trips campaign. The inside cover features a car tag and the Cadillac along an Alabama highway. An insert provides a photo montage of all the songwriters on the CD as well as the lyrics to the songs.

“We wanted to create a CD that people could listen to in their car while traveling in Alabama,” said tourism director Lee Sentell. “The songs are all original and provide a taste of the talent that our great state has to offer.”

Jordan Digital Marketing Initiatives

Jordan and Travel Bloggers

In the past couple of years, the travel industry has started to take more notice of the value of travel bloggers and the promotional support they can provide through their blogs and social media channels. Developments in 2011 have seen tourism boards and travel brands around the world organising blog-trips and innovative campaigns in collaboration with bloggers.

The Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) announced in December a unique marketing collaboration with travel bloggers. The concept, called iambassador, is the first of its kind involving the tourism board and eight travel bloggers who have visited Jordan, leveraging the bloggers’ published Jordan content and their social networks.

The bloggers were hosted by JTB on an individual basis, with customized itineraries created to accommodate the preferences of each blogger. Each blogger was invited to create his/her own experience and blog about it with full editorial control. For the two days, they shared their experiences of the country with their readers and followers.

The campaign made more than 40 million impressions on Twitter, with over 1 million people reached. Many of those tuned in to the #GoJordan hashtag shared their experiences in Jordan.

The campaign also marked the launch of a special microsite dedicated to all the writings that all the travel bloggers that have come to Jordan in 2011 have posted. The special Postcards from Jordan website features postcards from the bloggers, a special message from each of them, and all their posts, categorized by blog or by experience. The campaign is innovative in that it goes beyond the standard industry practice of hosting press trips and breathes new life into published writings about the destination.

Each of the 8 created a special Jordan page, highlighting the country as a Featured Destination. The pages will highlight their posts, the new Postcards website, and their reasons why they recommend Jordan as a travel destination to their readers. In 2012, JTB will go past awareness and focus on the special needs and experiences that travelers are looking for and will collaborate with different bloggers to highlight the many aspects of these available in Jordan with specific projects targeted at the different travel niches.

Jordan and Google

Another partnership to support tourism in Jordan was a Google deal also announced in December.

Ten government entities will use Google services to advertise and promote Jordan as a destination for tourists and investors over the next three years under the $10 million deal.

The local organisations will purchase keywords from the Internet search giant that will highlight their websites in search results, and Google will reinvest 25 per cent of the $10 million in the Kingdom’s IT sector, under the agreement.

The minister added that Google will provide intensive training to the Jordanian entities on the best methods of online marketing, underscoring the need for these organisations to improve their web content in order to provide user-friendly services.

“This is about finding people interested in what you have. If people can’t find you on the web they’ll go somewhere else. By purchasing keywords, you present yourself,” said Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, Google vice president for southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Presidents Passport

Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB), Monticello and Montpelier announce a cooperative marketing program designed to encourage tourism to the greater Charlottesville area starting in late January 2012.

The program, “Presidents Passport,” is supported by over $180,000 in marketing partnership spending from the CACVB, Monticello, and Montpelier including a substantial grant by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) for $50,000.

The Presidents Passport campaign is designed to build on the excitement surrounding the opening of the new landmark Smithsonian/Monticello exhibition opening in D.C. and encourage visitors to explore the extensive history and “intersection of rural lifestyle and urban sophistication” in Charlottesville, Albemarle, and surrounding areas.

“The passport program brings together two historic sites—Monticello and Montpelier—as key destinations for visitors wanting to continue the conversation about early American history and slavery. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the landscape of the presidents and soak up the rich historical and cultural offerings of the surrounding area,” said CACVB Executive Director Kurt Burkhart.

“A partnership between Montpelier, Monticello and CACVB offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the significant relationship between Jefferson and Madison and explore the impact of slavery on their world,” said Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. “The passport is designed to capture the attention of visitors to the exhibition in D.C., and offer them a deeper exploration of the topic by coming to our area, where they can immerse themselves in history, and enjoy all that we have to offer.”


Staycations to the rescue – Your destination needs you!

“Jordan is Beautiful” for Jordanians as well

Jordanians planning to spend their vacations in the country can avail of discounted offers at tourism sites across the Kingdom under the “Jordan is Beautiful” campaign that was launched in April.

Organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in cooperation with the Federation of Tourism Associations, the campaign will provide offers all year-round, according to Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Haifa Abu Ghazaleh.

The campaign provides 26 programmes with the aim of promoting domestic tourism and encouraging Jordanians to spend their holidays in the Kingdom. Abu Ghazaleh noted that information about these programmes can be viewed on the ministry’s new website

Ministry of Tourism Secretary General Issa Gammoh noted that the programmes will be reviewed every two months and a new list of programmes will be announced. He added that the ministry is currently working on a project to develop services in tourist sites. “We want to establish an administration to run tourism sites through conducting surveys to define the required services at each site to be implemented through investors,” he said.

Gammoh explained that investments will be open to interested local, Arab and foreign investors. Meanwhile, Shafiq Hayek, head of the Tourist Transportation Association, said the association is committed to providing sufficient means of transport for the campaign. He noted that in case of any shortage due to outbound tourism, the association will rent vehicles from other companies.


British Columbia’s “Don’t miss a moment” campaign

The BC’s ‘Don’t Miss a Moment’ new tourism marketing campaign encourages North Americans to visit B.C. this spring and summer. It focuses on the key markets of B.C., Washington State, Alberta, Ontario and California and runs until the end of September.

The campaign uses online and print advertising and search engine marketing to guide people to special offers, trip ideas and itineraries on It also uses social media, travel media relations and partnerships with online travel agencies like Expedia and Travelocity.

The campaign features ‘B.C.’s Great Vacation Giveaway,’ a contest that offers people a chance to win a personalized B.C. vacation worth $20,000. A 30-second television spot will also air across the province, showcasing B.C.’s wide variety of vacation experiences. The spot is designed to encourage British Columbians to travel within the province and enjoy provincial parks this summer during BC Parks’ 100th anniversary celebrations.

B.C. residents make up the single largest group of travellers in the province and represented roughly 52 per cent of all travellers within B.C. in 2009.

Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation: “We are committed to supporting a strong tourism industry in our province, which means jobs for British Columbians – and that’s good for B.C. families. This campaign builds on the increased attention B.C. received as a result of the 2010 Olympic Games and promotes all the regions of the province. This year we are putting an increased focus on special offers and trip ideas for travellers, which will promote B.C. as an affordable destination and motivate people to visit.”

Fraser Coast launches Staycation scheme

Fraser Coast Regional Council has announced a partnership with media supporters the Fraser Coast Chronicle and Channel Seven to promote the highly successful Fraser Coast Staycations scheme.

During a 25-week period, starting May 2011, the region’s two largest media outlets will support Council’s marketing initiatives by implementing a $100,000 multi-media campaign to boost the Fraser Coast economy.  The Fraser Coast Chronicle and Channel 7 are jointly providing the campaign free of charge to the Fraser Coast.

Supporting editorial, multi-media coverage and an extensive advertisement series will help raise consumer awareness of Fraser Coast Staycations and increase resident sign up and business take up of the scheme.

Staycations rewards residents for spending locally by offering discounts and deals from regional businesses and attractions. It offers residents generous incentives to holiday, shop and dine locally and encourages visiting friends and relatives to lengthen their stay and spend more while in the region.

Fraser Coast Mayor Mick Kruger says the Fraser Coast Regional Council initiative is becoming a major economic driver for this region.“Staycations provides all regional businesses – not only the tourism industry – an opportunity to leverage off a proven formula that provides benefits for all,” Cr Kruger said. “It helps stimulate regional business by encouraging residents to explore and spend in their backyard.” “Staycations is a win-win for both Fraser Coast businesses and residents as it allows local businesses to promote their products and services through great deals that encourage residents to holiday and shop locally.”

Council’s revamped Staycations “locals” campaign has had an extremely successful start. In just a few short weeks of the campaign there have been over 4,470 new registrations bringing the membership to more than 10,000 active cardholders. In addition, over 10,000 visitors to the campaign website have accessed 61,000 pages of information on regional businesses and their special Staycations offers.

Related link: Check out what we wrote a year ago:

Destination BrandWatch (Middle East): Tourism Campaigns & Crisis Management

Egypt Celebrates its Revolution with New Tourism Campaign Unveiled at ITB

Egypt launched a global advertising campaign on Thursday with a series of slogans celebrating its recent revolution.

The launch at trade show ITB in Berlin unveiled a variety of new slogans celebrating the recent overthrow of the government, including:

“Welcome to the country of peaceful revolution”, “7,000 years of history and a new era”, and “Tahrir – a square rocks the world”. Tahrir Square in Cairo was at the centre of the protests that deposed former President Mubarak in Febuary.

The campaign will run on TV, in print, online and outdoor, and ally the new slogans to the tagline in use since 2010 – “Egypt, where it all begins”. It will use images reflecting the revolution, including a postage stamp dated January 25, the day the uprising began.

New Egyptian tourism minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour unveiled the campaign at ITB. He said the country expects a speedy rebound in visitor numbers and the year to finish with arrivals close to the level of last year.

Tui Travel chief executive Peter Long told Travel Weekly on Wednesday that he expects bookings to Egypt this year to be about 60% of the level of 2010.

The minister said Egypt had suffered a short-term fall in tourism numbers “due to the current incidents”. But he said he expects “a fast return”, with tour operators and airlines offering full programmes.

Egypt drew more than 14 million overseas tourists last year and aims to attract 25 million a year by 2020.

The Egyptian consulate’s tourism department said in a statement: “Egypt is optimistic about a quick rebound and is looking forward to the pro-democratic change and the new era to go hand in hand with an upturn in tourism.

“Egypt has been the focus of worldwide media attention . . . [now] the primary objective is to quickly get back to the normal level of tourism. All travel warnings have been removed. A lot of tour operators have announced [a] full commitment.

“The peaceful, pro-democratic revolution has brought a fresh breeze to Egypt. Tourism officials will freshen up their marketing measures accordingly, focussing on increased participation at international events and media-marketing activities.”

The new campaign will also include the following slogans: “A new era of hospitality”, “Peaceful change is in the air”, “A peaceful revolution inspires the world”, “The online revolution – made in Egypt”, and “Nothing new here, history is made”.


Israel Unveils New Campaign to Differentiate its Image from Regional Countries

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov unveils NIS 45m. campaign to ensure tourists don’t get scared from going to Israel.

With Libya in the throes of chaos and bloodletting, and post-revolution Egypt gripped by uncertainty, Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov on Wednesday unveiled a NIS 45 million advertising campaign to meant to ensure that potential tourists don’t get scared away from visiting Israel despite the turmoil in the region.

The campaign also aims to encourage tourists who may have otherwise traveled to Egypt, Tunisia, or elsewhere to try Israel instead.

Meseznikov said Wednesday “given the geo-political situation and the blow to the region’s image, the Tourism Ministry is next week launching a series of campaigns worth NIS 45m. in target countries around the world in order to differentiate Israel’s image from the other countries in the region and strengthen it as a safe, accessible and attractive tourism destination.”

Meseznikov’s statement was issued as the minister opened the Israeli stand at the ITB in Berlin, the world’s largest tourism fair.

According to the Tourism Ministry, the campaign will include commercials aired in target countries such as the US, Russia, Germany, UK and Scandinavia.

“The regional crisis represents a challenge and an opportunity for tourism to Israel,” Meseznikov said. “We will work through all the marketing channels with a variety of activities in order to position Israel as an alternative destination for those tourists who, until now, would take their vacations in other countries in the region.

“The Tourism Ministry representatives, working in 17 offices around the world, will expand their activities with local tourism industry representatives to increase traffic to Israel. Activities that have already taken place over the last few weeks in Russia and Ukraine have proven that Israel is seen as an alternative for tourists wishing to travel to the Middle East region,” he said.


Tourism industry, supporters turn to social media to promote Jordan as a safe destination

The tourism industry and supporters of the sector are using Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media tools to promote Jordan as a safe tourism destination.

“We do use it and currently we must push more,” Michael Nazzal, chairman of Jordan Federation Of Tourism Associations, said in response to a question on whether industry uses social media to promote tourism.

Stressing the importance of social media, Nazzal revealed that a monthly gathering will be held starting on 20th of this month for social media users, workers in the field and supporters of tourism.

The “tourism support group” and other initiatives by supporters of the sector come at a time when the tourism industry in the country is witnessing a downturn due to the recent unrest in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

Meanwhile, Jordan Tourism Board Director Nayef Fayez is becoming more active on Twitter, where he is posting tourism news, information, and even links to blogs speaking about tourism in Jordan.

Despite the recent downturn in tourism, Fayez expressed hope on the JTB website that “the region will overcome its volatility and return to stability, and that more people will have the chance to discover Jordan’s countless and priceless treasures”.

The Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association is also using Facebook where it has a page with up-to-date information about the tourism industry.

Bloggers have also done their share by exchanging information, and delivering the message about the actual situation in Jordan.