Top Summer Tourism Videos! The Good, the Bad & the Funny!

We are in the middle of summer- at least at some parts of the world- and it’s time to check out some of the best, worst and funniest tourism destination videos out there!

Tourism Queensland- Where Else but Queensland

Israel- Holy Land

Las Vegas- Life is Short. Summer is Shorter

Leavenworth, WA- Woody the Nutcracker

Canary Islands- Say NO to Winter Blues

Wildwoods, NJ- Are You Free This Summer?

The Whitsundays- 74 Islands Out of the Blue

1989 Jamaica Tourist Board Commercial – Looking For A Sunny Day

and finally…

….expect the unexpected…

Have a great Summer!

Tourism Campaigns & User Generated Content! Share more!

European Travel Commission’s ‘I Wish I Were There’ Social Media Contest

The European Travel Commission launched a social media contest entitled, “I Wish I Were There.” Hosted on the ETC’s official Facebook page, the contest will encourage fans to superimpose images of themselves in their dream European destination and post the new photos to the Facebook page to be automatically entered to win a trip for two to Europe.

I Wish I Were There” is the first of three exciting social media contests that are slated to take place on the European Travel Commission’s social networks over the course of the year as part of a new creative campaign to promote Europe as a tourism destination to the U.S. consumer. The “Follow Your Dreams: Visit Europe” campaign aims to educate travelers on the compelling tourism offerings available within Europe with an emphasis on history, culture and gastronomy.

The top five photos will be selected by the greatest number of “Likes” obtained by Visit Europe Facebook fans and entered for online voting to determine the Grand Prize Winner, who will be awarded a dream European vacation to their destination of choice from a selection of three European travel destinations – Austria, Croatia or Poland. The national tourism organizations of each country will be offering sponsored inclusive of hotel stays, ground transportation and cultural activities for the winner and one guest.

ETC’s web portal along with its dynamic social networks offers travelers activities, tools and tips to help consumers organize their journey to Europe and encourages travelers to share their own experiences and read others while accessing photos, videos and social networks.


The “My Sarajevo Photo” project

A dynamic new web site and ongoing photo competition launched in Sarajevo this month will be uniting citizens, visitors and the tourism industry in a scheme aimed at creating a database of high-quality photos for promoting Sarajevo as a tourism destination.

Branding Sarajevo required strong promotional materials with top-notch photographs, and the new web site will provide the BiH tourism industry with a free database of at least 2,500 high-quality photos capturing different aspects of life in Sarajevo.

The “My Sarajevo Photo” project represents one of the activities defined in the cooperation agreement between the City of Sarajevo and the USAID-Sida FIRMA Project that was signed in January 2011. “‘My Sarajevo Photo’ is a project with which Sarajevo Navigator, in cooperation with the City of Sarajevo, starts working on the branding of Sarajevo as a tourism destination,” said Nedim Lipa of Sarajevo Navigator at a press conference on July 7.

“With this project, we aim to present an image of Sarajevo as seen through the eyes of its citizens as well as its visitors,” he said, while also thanking the USAID-Sida FIRMA Project for its support.

At the heart of this project is an ongoing public web competition for the best photo of Sarajevo. The photos will be published on the website, which is connected with the social network Facebook, where people can rate and comment on them. All the photos will be stored in a database with view and search options, while the latest submissions and those with the most Facebook votes will be more prominently placed on the web site.

“We expect this activity to contribute to tourists’ decisions to visit the city, while building a sense of pride and belonging among its citizens. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as tourists will be able to participate in the monthly competition for the best photo of Sarajevo, and the photos will then be available for use by tourism stakeholders,” said David King, Chief of Party of the USAID-Sida FIRMA Project, at the press conference.

My Story Is Written in Albuquerque

A new promotion by the city of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau encourages “Burqueños” to tell their stories about the city — and possibly win a trip for friends or family to visit the Duke City.

So far there are 24 stories among the entries and the idea is to grow the ranks of local ambassadors, said Dale Lockett, president and CEO of the ACVB.

“The goal of this campaign is to capture the stories and different viewpoints about why we love calling this city home, which are many of the same reasons people visit,” Lockett said. “Hearing stories from our residents will help us showcase the vast array of experiences that are available in our city — to locals and visitors alike.”

Albuquerque residents are invited to write their own stories and submit a photo at the site, They are also encouraged to click on a link to send family and friends a virtual Albuquerque Visitors Guide.

The site features a Flickr photostream of Albuquerque pictures that people can use with their entries. They can also post their own photo. There is also a link to ACVB’s YouTube channel. The Facebook and Twitter options let contestants share their stories more widely. The site also offers lists of things to do, including some that are free or cost less than $10.

Tourism Promotion Campaigns Increase Visits!

According to new research conducted by Longwoods International and commissioned by the U.S. Travel Associationreducing state and local tourism marketing programs in the name of saving taxpayer dollars impedes economic growth.

A comprehensive analysis of recent campaigns by the State of Michigan and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) reveals that marketing programs drive greater visitation, generate new tax dollars and create jobs for states and local communities, the new study says.

“There’s a reason that America’s most prominent brands continue to increase their marketing budgets: it works,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “This study proves that destinations must operate like Nike, Apple and similar businesses that have followed the marketing path to success. Substantial cuts to destination marketing programs are counterproductive and will have long-term negative economic consequences.”

The research proves that destination marketing programs generate more tax revenue than they cost by driving substantial increases in visitation and spending in local communities, U.S. Travel said.

“Legislators are ignoring basic economics if they slash destination marketing programs,” said the report’s author, Bill Siegel, founder and CEO of Longwoods International. “The return on investment of destination marketing programs is significant and nearly immediate.”

After inconsistent promotion efforts for decades, the Pure Michigan state promotion campaign began regionally in 2006 and went national in 2009. The powerful and non-traditional storytelling of Pure Michigan has stimulated 7.2 million trips to Michigan by out-of-state visitors. Those visitors spent $2 billion at Michigan businesses and generated $138 million in new tax revenue for Michigan – more than three times the cost of the advertising itself.

In 2010, the second year of national Pure Michigan. advertising, spending by out-of-state leisure visitors jumped 21 percent, from 2009 to $6.4 billion. At the same time, Michigan tourism-related employment rose by 10,000 jobs. While facing a large deficit and forcing significant cuts to entitlement programs, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder nonetheless added $10 million in additional funding to the Pure Michigan® campaign in 2011, stating: “It brought in more tax revenue than it has cost our state.”

Through a sustained marketing program over the last 15 years, Philadelphia’s image has transformed and visitation has surged, delivering returns to the city and state. “Fifteen years ago, Philadelphia was considered a two-hour stop,” said Meryl Levitz, founding president and CEO of GPTMC. “Then we became on overnight sensation, and now we are a premier destination where visitors stay for multiple days and come back several times a year.”

Since 1997, overnight visitation to Greater Philadelphia has grown 66 percent, six times faster than the national growth rate of 11 percent. GPTMC’s most recent campaign began in 2009 in the midst of the deepest and longest economic downturn since the Great Depression.  With a budget of just $4.3 million in 2009/2010, With Love, Philadelphia XOXO generated 3.7 million incremental trips to the Philadelphia region, injecting $432 million in visitor spending and $24 million in new state tax revenue and $22 million to local governments. The marketing program also generated over 7,000 additional jobs for Greater Philadelphia at a reasonable cost of $600 in advertising for each job created.

According to the U.S. Travel Association’s 2009 annual Survey of State Tourism Office Budgets, 31 states cut funding for tourism advertising and marketing by 13 percent, or $52.7 million, between 2008 and 2009. The state of Washington closed its tourism office in June 2011, harkening back to Colorado‘s decision to abolish its marketing program in 1993 due to budget constraints.

According to a landmark study by Longwoods International, Colorado eventually lost more than 30 percent of its share of domestic visitors and more than $2 billion annually in visitor spending. With funding for Colorado’s marketing program now restored, the state treasury sees a 12:1 return on marketing investment, and trips to Colorado have rebounded to record levels.


New Tourism Campaigns from Tunisia, Britain, Australia & Mexico

What Revolution? Tunisia’s New Tourism Campaign

In a bold attempt to attract tourists back to the country and revive its fortunes from the post-revolutionary torpor, Tunisia unveiled in June a new tourism campaign that has divided opinions. In wry but direct references to the recent turmoil in the country billboards in Europe are showing Roman ruins with the tagline “they say Tunisia is nothing but ruins.”

A bus in London carrying a showing an advert of a woman receiving a massage, next to the words: "They say that in Tunisia, some people receive heavy-handed treatment"

Another shows a sultry woman enjoying a massage whilst the line below read ”They say that in Tunisia, some people receive heavy-handed treatment.” Opinion is sharply divided on the ads. Defending the campaign, Syrine Cherif, managing director of the Tunis office of Memac Ogilvy, said that peoples fear of visiting a post-revolutionary Tunisia was the most obvious issue so “we decided to face the issue directly”.

The ads are currently running in Britain and France but are due to be rolled out across Europe soon.


Celebrities star in British Tourism Campaign

Dame Judi Dench, Twiggy and Jamie Oliver are among the celebrities in a new television advert promoting Britain internationally.

The globally-recognised figures invite viewers to join the “national mood of celebration” surrounding April’s Royal wedding, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics. As well as appearing in the commercial, each celebrity has made a personal invitation to Britain from a location of choice in a series of short films to be posted on YouTube.

Rupert Everett and Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel also feature in the campaign, by tourism agency VisitBritain. The national architecture is praised by Dame Judi, 76, while television chef Oliver, 36, celebrates Britain’s diversity and “magpie culture” of “taking the world’s best bits”.

The adverts will be shown in key countries for potential visitors, ranging from established markets such as the United States to emerging economies including China and India.

Fashion icon Twiggy, filmed on location at Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge in London, says: “I think we’ve got such an amazing stable of designers now that all the world looks to … and we are brave … we go for it and there are always new things … it’s brilliant. Britain is in my heart and soul.”

Dev Patel extols the “buzzing, energetic, boisterous” Leicester Square in London, while Everett hails the capital’s theatre experience as “sharp, exciting and engaging”.

Dame Judi is filmed at Hever Castle in Kent, her favourite visitor attraction and the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. “We have such an abundance of stately homes in Britain,” she says, adding: “We’re incredibly lucky – we retain our history.”

Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain, said: “With the eyes of the world on us, we have an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Britain. “This campaign aims to inspire visitors to come and explore for themselves. Over four years, we aim to attract 4 million extra overseas visitors, who will spend £2 billion across Britain.”


‘No Leave No Life’ for Australians

The latest in the Australian Tourism campaigns has opened – this time for hard working Australians to be part of the third series of “No Leave No Life“.

The idea behind the campaign and the show is to encourage Australians to take time off – as the nation has 300,000 years or 123 million days of holidays stacked up in accrued leave and for some reason they just don’t take it.

Ever since 2009 and the global financial economic crisis the government has been trying to encourage people to take time off – both for their own health and also to get people spending their money at home on holidays to help local industry. And apparently Australians tend to holiday in New Zealand and the Gold Coast when they do.

Research showed that  the Key Barriers to Taking Leave are the following:

  • 57% of stockpilers consider work related barriers prevent them from taking leave, including concerns about work load before and after the event, lack of resources to cover and scheduling leave when desired.
  • 80% cited personal barriers as the cause including lack of available funds, partner’s availability and deliberate accrual for emergencies.

While the reasons Why People Stock Leave are:

  • Insurance Policy – “What if” worriers.
  • Workaholic – Too much going on at work to prioritise taking leave.
  • Golden Goal – Saving for the ‘big trip’ or ‘one day’ type travel plans.
  • Martyr – ‘No one else could do my job’.
  • Victim – Lack of immediate support from management in their absence.


Mexico Launches Mayan Tourism Campaign Through 2012

Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced the launch of “Mundo Maya 2012” (Mayan World 2012), a program to increase tourism and promote the Mayan Culture Legacy in Mexico through 2012.

“Today we are the 10th power for tourism in the world, and we are working hard to be in the top five,” Calderon said at the announcement of the campaign. “We want the world to know the splendors of the Mayan civilization, with the end goal of positioning Mexico as a privileged and unique touristic destination.”

Between now and Dec. 21, 2012, when the Mayan calendar officially ends, the Mexican government will promote a variety of events in southeastern Mexico’s “Mayan World,” made up of the states Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, Quintana Roo andYucatan. This region is home to six of Mexico’s 27 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the most found in any one country.

Through hosting international expositions, conferences, and meetings with leading researchers and specialists, the government hopes to increase tourism to the region, which currently receives an average of 250,000 visitors a month. To improve the region’s cultural offerings, they will restore old archeological sites and open new ones, as well as promote dance festivals, concerts, theatrical performances and the region’s traditional gastronomy. The hope is that the increased tourism will create jobs and stimulate the region both economically and socially.

This focused campaign supports Mexico’s ambitious goal of becoming one of the top-five most visited countries in the world. It is estimated that 52 million tourists will visit southeastern Mexico through 2012, spending approximately $23 million.

“This effort looks to give an unprecedented boost to touristic activity in the country’s southeastern states, where this incredible civilization was established,” said Calderon. “We want tourists from Mexico and the world to know Mexico. We want them to explore the unrivaled riches that this magical region has to offer.”


Tourism Ambassadors: Show them what we’ve got!

Utilizing local people and their experiences,  as representatives of the tourism brand  is a method that several Tourism Boards have used in order to strengthen the “local knowledge-authenticity” factor and their brand proposition. In order to have positive results based on set targets there appears to be one essential condition: that the selected ambassadors are true  representatives of the brand essence.

Scottish ambassadors as the face of Scotland’s brand essence

2011 will see the continuation of International Marketing’s flagship ‘Scotland. Welcome to our Life’ Pan-European Touring Campaign, featuring a “Meet the Scots” theme – a group of people whose lives and work link to key Scottish tourism themes.

VisitScotland’s major European tourism campaign, Meet the Scots, has delivered almost £97million in additional tourism revenue for Scotland.

The Scots are the conduit for the campaign messages and represent the “Human” element of the brand essence “Dramatic, Human, Enduring”. They represent the warmth and passion of the Scottish people and offer insider knowledge to consumers.

Car touring remains the largest leisure tourism market to Scotland from Europe and the campaign promotes touring holidays with a particular focus on Seasonality – to attract visitors in the shoulder seasons, thus addressing one of the levers for growth, Capacity Utilisation.  Additionally the campaign aims to generate higher spend per trip and to contribute to VisitScotland’s geographic spread objective by encouraging visitors to explore more of Scotland.

Authenticity is an important driver in holiday choice for its target consumers, as is a desire to engage with the locals of the country they are visiting. The Scots are utilised in VisitScotland’s marketing activity to underline the authentic nature of a holiday in Scotland, whilst also pushing the scope for social engagement. Each Scot represents a particular theme and delivers information and tips associated with that theme. They are also featured on the campaign websites with information on who they are, what they do and they also provide consumers with personal tips and suggestions for things to do in every month of the year.


Jessica Watson promotes 2011 Queensland Season of Sailing campaign

The $100,000, 2011 Queensland Season of Sailing campaign will promote all the fantastic sailing events along Queensland’s stunning coastline between April 22 and September 6, with regattas in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Central Queensland, the Whitsundays and Townsville.

Queensland is Australia’s premier sailing destination and this campaign encompasses a wide range of stay and sail experiences which are bound to make Sydneysiders and Melbournites want to leave the cold southern winter to live it up on the Queensland coast. The premise behind this year’s campaign is to encourage visitors to experience a sailing event and book a holiday package with their friends and family. It’s about promoting opportunities for visitors to experience Queensland’s sailing events first hand, enjoy all that the sailing destinations have to offer, take to the water and learn how to sail, have a bareboat adventure or enjoy a charter cruise.

Ms Jarratt, Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business said Tourism Queensland was thrilled to have Queensland sailor and Young Australian of the Year Jessica Watson onboard again as the 2011 Queensland Season of Sailing ambassador. “Jessica is a genuine Queensland inspiration who has developed an international profile, which makes her the perfect fit for Queensland’s Season of Sailing campaign. She is also a proud Queenslander who has the ability to raise the profile of Queensland’s Season of Sailing even further in 2011.”

This initiative provides people with a unique incentive to visit Queensland’s regional holiday destinations during the traditionally slower winter months.Queensland’s 2011 Season of Sailing campaign will be promoted through print ads in newspapers and sailing magazines, online and via social media as well as at a grass roots level via Yachting Australia’s members.


Tourism Calgary turned to Calgarians to help advertise their city

Tourism Calgary is turning to Calgarians to help advertise their city with a fully integrated and user-generated regional marketing campaign that kicked off in March.

The “Capture Wow” campaign invites locals to upload descriptions and photos of their biggest “wow” experiences in Calgary at, said Gisele Danis, vice-president of Tourism Calgary. The best photographs will be used in an online and traditional advertising campaign called “Experience Wow” later this year in Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C.

Danis said user-generated photography was a way to extend Tourism Calgary’s “small” marketing budget. “We can’t afford the half-million dollars many cities spend on photography for their campaigns, so we turned to the locals, the real experts.”

All pictures will remain on the Capture Wow and Tourism Calgary websites throughout 2011, said Danis, “and we believe they will tell the inside story that Canada’s fourth largest city is a place that offers world-class experiences. The campaign supports the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede next year and the city’s bid to be the 2012 Cultural Capital of Canada”.


Real Madrid’s Football Players as Brand Ambassadors for Madrid and Spain

Legendary football club Real Madrid has signed a deal to promote Spain and Madrid as tourist destinations.

The deal means that the club’s star players such as Cristiano Ronaldo will act as “brand ambassadors” for both the Spanish capital and the country as a whole through the “Visit Spain, Visit Madrid” campaign. Tourism authorities expect the three-year agreement will reach a potential audience of over 300 million people because of Real Madrid’s worldwide fan base.

Spanish Tourist Office spokeswoman said: “This is a groundbreaking agreement in which both Madrid and Spain will be promoted internationally through one of the most renowned clubs worldwide promoting both tourism brands to all corners of the globe.

“The agreement, valid for three years, will allow the public institutions to use the main players of the club as ‘Spain and Madrid brand ambassadors’ in various international advertising campaigns. The agreement also provides for the utilisation of advertising space in each of the official matches in the league and the Cup to be held in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium organised by Real Madrid.”

Mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardon:
“This city’s most important asset, and that which we feel most proud of, is Real Madrid and its values, which is what we want to promote around the world. In large part it belongs to all Spaniards, because you are ambassadors of Spain.”

Minister of Industry, Tourism and Commerce Miguel Sebastian:
“Real Madrid is an icon of Spain. It is a winning team and one of the most visible clubs on an international level, but what we must promote is its culture of hard work and the excellence in its genes.”


abouTourism TV: Now Playing..

The abouTourism TV is an on-line video collection aimed at destination marketing professionals and people with interest in tourism. There are videos about tourism campaigns, latest news and documentaries, as well as video interviews about the latest trends on the field. Take some time and watch 140+ videos make your comments and feel free to send us more video suggestions.

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A Trip in Time: 10 Best ”Retro” TV Tourist Commercials

It’s almost the end of another working week (at least for some of us) which means it’s time for some Friday fun. Enjoy!

10. English Tourism Board Promo (1981)

9. California Tourism Ad (1989)

8. US Virgin Islands (1984)

7. Jamaica Vacation Commercial (1986)

6. Buffalo – We’re looking Good (1980s)

5. Toronto – Discover the Feeling (1988)

4. British Columbia Travel Ad (1989)

3. I Love NY – Stars (1980s)

2. Australia – Paul Hogan Tourism Ads (1984)

1. Florida – You’ve got it bad (1970s)

10+1 Most Creative Tourism Ads!

DMOs are trying hard to create tourism campaigns that stand out from the crowd.  Here’s a collection of stunning and creative tourism ads from destinations all over the world.

10. MTV Philippines Department of Tourism

9. Victoria Tourism Commercial – Music by Paris Wells feat: Brunswick Women’s Choir

8. Visit Manchester

7. “Voglio vivere così” – spot Toscana,

6. NYC Tourism commercial – The Ride

5. Positively Wellington Tourism

4. Denmark Introduces Harrowing New Tourism Ads Directed By Lars Von Trier

3. Behind the Scenes – Making the 100% Pure New Zealand TV Ad

2. Las Vegas: What Happens Here, Stays Here

1. Tourism Australia: Come Walkabout

Just Released: Kerala Tourism’s international campaign, Your Moment Is Waiting is a film that goes far beyond the realm of a commercial, to capture the soul of Kerala like no destination hitherto has.

Kerala Tourism: Your Moment Is Waiting

abouTourism TV: Now Playing…

The abouTourism TV is an on-line video collection aimed at destination marketing professionals and people with interest in tourism. There are videos about tourism campaigns, latest news and documentaries, as well as video interviews about the latest trends on the field. Take some time and watch 100+ videos make your comments and feel free to send me an email at with more video suggestions.

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