4 (More) Brilliant Tourism Social Strategies

Last week, we shared 4 of our favorite social media marketing strategies and executions from the tourism / destination marketing field (4 Brilliant Tourism Social Strategies).

This article is part of the Travel 2.0 #social 101 Marketing Series.

And, apparently, quite a few of you are also working on a social media strategy of your own.


So, back by popular demand, 4 more brilliant tourism social strategies.

In this edition great social media examples from Disney/Gowalla, KLM, the Brooklyn Museum and Visit Iceland.

And if you have a brilliant social media strategy of your own, let us know in the comments.


4 Brilliant Tourism / Destination Social Media Strategies

Disney / Gowalla Geosocial Integration

4 Brilliant Tourism / Destination Social Media Strategies - Disney / Gowalla

Yes, they are two major, worldwide tourist destinations with a pretty sizable budget, but from our perspective this size only makes the partnership with Gowalla that much more impressive.  You could count on one hand how many non-Disney brands are allowed into the theme parks.

Gowalla is now one of them.

Secondly, the partnership provides a unique and desired service to Disneyland / Disney World visitors.  For that side of the story, let’s talk to our resident expert, Andy Ellwood from Gowalla.

“The goal of our partnership was to bring a new level of experience to the amazing locations within the Disney Parks.  Disney makes magic better than any group in the entire world and it was a true honor to work together with them to think about what their brand could and should look like with Gowalla.

The response has been tremendous in terms of adoption and reaching a whole new audience.  The Gowalla experience isn’t just for urban hipsters in NYC and San Francisco, but for anyone who wants to discover new places, share them with their friends, and have a record of those experiences.”

– Andy Ellwood, Gowalla

Finally, a curious thing happens when using Gowalla at Disneyland / Disney World.  As people begin checking into rides, shows and parades, a secondary geosocial network evolves.  People who have no connection to one another, except for a love of Pirates of the Caribbean, begin to communicate via geosocial networking.

Ah, the people we meet through Gowalla.

KLM Surprises Campaign

4 Brilliant Tourism / Destination Social Media Strategies - KLM Surprises Campaign

Personally, I don’t think it is a reach to say that KLM is one of the most innovative brands in social media.  Forget the tourism industry, any industry.

The Fly for Fortune video, the Facebook Luggage Tag campaign, the Twitter #hashtag experiment and their response to the volcanic ash cloud are near perfect case studies for how to utilize social media marketing.  Now that we think about it, we could have written an entire article on just KLM social media campaigns.  But, for today, let’s focus on the KLM Surprises execution.

Travelers would check into one of KLM’s locations at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport via Foursquare.  Then, the KLM social team would connect the traveler’s Foursquare profile with other public social profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) to determine that passengers specific interests.  Then, they would find a relevant and meaningful gift to surprise the traveler with.

Yeah, all in a couple of hours.

Surprises from the team included champagne, a Nike watch, notebooks and traditional Dutch foods.  Even a New York guidebook with pubs showing a Dutch football match highlighted for a fanatic, but out-of-town football fan.

I would call that a surprise.

Brooklyn Museum Community Sections

4 Brilliant Tourism / Destination Social Media Strategies - Brooklyn Museum Community Section

The entire Brooklyn Museum Community section is brilliant.  Featuring comments, Twitter, Foursquare, a blog, Tumblr, photos, videos, a podcast archive and RSS feeds all help connect the museum with their patrons regardless of social network.  But it is the Foursquare integration that truly stands out.

The page integrates a list of recent check-ins, a call-out and special offer for the current mayor, acknowledgement of former mayors, a list of users who have earned the Brooklyn Museum badge, museum tips and even staff picks about the surrounding community.


If you are ever asked how Foursquare, or any social network for that matter, should integrate into your website just refer back to the Brooklyn Museum example.

Inspired by Iceland

4 Brilliant Tourism / Destination Social Media Strategies - Inspired by Iceland

How do you recover from an entire month of non-stop media coverage of a violent volcanic eruption in your county?  You turn to the residents of the country to tell potential travelers why they should return.

Inspired by Iceland is a truly far-reaching social campaign.  Yes, there is a fantastic campaign site with videos, testimonials and even playlists, but what is really innovative is the participation from the Icelandic Government.

On June 3rd the the residents of Iceland, Visit Iceland and a variety of tourism organizations, including Icelandair, went online for an hour to show support of the new Inspired by Iceland campaign.

During the hour of support, participants sent messages of support and love for their native land telling potential visitors why they should visit, what they love about Iceland and the true impact of the volcanic eruption.

A true social campaign for tourism.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.