3 Tourism Contests We Love


Contests are a tricky campaign tactic.

Easy to set-up, yet difficult built engagement around.

While the programs typically deliver a mass of instant leads, all too often, they end up thrown into another database, unlikely to experience the unique attention they deserve.

And, when it is all said and done, a repeat performance is rare.

For every Greatest Job in the World there are a dozen campaigns that barely see the warm glow of attention from a laptop screen.  And let’s not even count all of the knock-offs of that campaign.

Recently, we have seen a glimmer of hope and creativity in the ubiquitous tourism contest campaign, starting with the inspired use of Klout by the Seattle CVB.

Not to be overlooked, our peers in Philly, Indiana and Virginia have all launched campaigns with more substance than just the simple enter to win.  An engaging contest, if you will.

3 Tourism Contests We Love

29 Nights of Dates / Philly

29 Nights of Dates

The undisputed owners of brotherly love, Philly has connected the dots this February for a 29-day Facebook contest focused on local date nights.

What we love.

  • More than just a one and done prize giveaway, the campaign gives away multiple prizes over the entire month.
  • Multiple prizes mean Philly is talking about and promoting multiple members / partners.
  • The Facebook -centric approach.  Yeah, its nothing new, but Philly is doing it right.  A ton of interaction, comments and shares, plus they are announcing the winners daily through the Visit Philly fan page.

The Super 46 / Indiana

The Super 46

With the Super Bowl heading to town, and everyone (and their brother) running a related contest, Visit Indiana was looking for a way to stand-out.  The answer: sandwiches.

What we love.

  • Anything related to sandwiches.
  • The complete and consistent promotion of the campaign, and the connections back to the Visit Indiana blog.
  • Promoting a unique tourism asset, in this case food.
  • Shining the spotlight on 46 local businesses throughout the state.  Now that is some membership ROI.

Love Unexpected / Virginia

Love Unexpected

Photo contests.  Standard.  But, if you understand and locate a passionate audience, success is just around the corner.  For Virginia that meant partnering with the oh-so hip and offbeat Lomography.  Think of it as Instagram with a real camera.

What we love.

  • Passionate audience.  If you want people to spread your message, contest or not, you need to find someone who is excited about that message.
  • Relevant prizes such as an overnight stay in a VW Bus while fulfilling you duties as the official photographer for a local music festival.  Which officially removes the lameness from the contest.
  • 11 months of contest, with a specific theme for each month.

Will one of these contests mimic the success of the Queensland campaign?  Probably not.

But they are 3 unique tourism campaigns, beyond the basic enter to win, that should inspire your next contest.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.