The inaugural International Travel & Tourism Awards, presented by WTM London, celebrate the success of national, regional and city tourist boards and recognises outstanding private sector companies and individuals.
One of the most competitive categories saw the judges select eight of the most original and best PR campaigns that the travel industry has to offer.
Kieron Dodd, Sales Director, Great British Chefs and one of the judges for this category explained: “It was great to see the huge variety of different styles of entries, different budgets and different objectives.
“What was fascinating was how much the best entries and innovation seems to have been driven by challenges, changing perceptions and helping destinations that have had some real unfortunate events.
“What also seems to be coming through is the quality of entries that are driven by adversity and that really is a pleasure to see.”
The winners will be announced to an audience of more than 500 leading industry figures during a prestigious awards ceremony at London’s Grade I-listed Tobacco Dock, not far from WTM London’s ExCeL venue (Tuesday 6 November).
- PR Agency DEC BBDO on behalf of Canary Islands Tourism orchestrated the #StopBlueMonday campaign in 2016. Through a 1-day campaign, which encouraged people to make their own positive poster to share via social media, increased UK winter tourists by 19.8%, attracting £76,435,000 of new revenue.
- As a travel safety advocate, and as part of its role as an educator AIG Travel created the campaign Be aware, be alert, be confident to minimize travel risks and help women make their journey safe and enjoyable.
The campaign aimed to promote women’s travel safety awareness and position AIG as a global leader and point to its insurance and travel services. The company saw their travel assistance website registrations increase by 8 %, along with an increase in app utilization by 14%.
Rhonda Sloan, Head of Marketing and Industry Relations, AIG Travel commented: “We are thrilled our Women’s Travel Safety Campaign has been named an award finalist for the Best PR Campaign category.
“As a travel safety advocate, we are proud of the value our campaign provides female travellers, offering them resources, tools and advice to help make every trip safe and enjoyable.”
- Travelworks Public Relations had the job of communicating a 100-year-old, landmark hotel in an increasingly competitive luxury hospitality environment.
The Poseidonion Grand Hotel campaign used a traditional public relations strategy, resulting in a targeted approach that was trusted and respected amongst the audience.
Kostas Panagakis, CEO and Founder, Travelworks PR commented: “As a growing and evolving boutique agency, Travelworks is honoured to have been shortlisted for Best PR Campaign at the International Travel & Tourism Awards, and we are particularly glad that it has come from an entry with one of our most unique and historic clients, the 100 year-old Poseidonion Grand Hotel”.
- Faroe Islands Translate by Visit Faroe Islands and Atlantic Airways sought to raise awareness about the Faroe Islands as a travel destination and help protect the Faroese language by creating a clever and ambitious campaign that dared to take on Google. The campaign went viral and generated 1.4 billion media impressions and 20 million euros in PR value. The translation service generated 1.3 million translations from 181 different countries, and it engaged the local community, with 41% of the Faroese population taking part in the campaign. The worldwide media coverage was enough to capture Google’s attention, and they are now working together to add Faroese to Google Translate.
Levi Hanssen, Content Manager, Faroe Islands commented: “We’re thrilled to be shortlisted. It’s great to get recognition for what turned out to be a hugely successful campaign. It connected people from all over the world with Faroese locals, more people worldwide now know about the Faroe Islands, and who knows, the Faroese language might even end up on Google Translate!”
- In September 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico just days after Hurricane Irma had also struck the Island. That changed everything for the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, having to swap their fun and exciting marketing campaign with round-the-clock efforts to guide the destination through a humanitarian crisis.
With almost 50% of travellers revealing that media coverage of the natural disaster had lead them to have a negative outlook of the island, The Puerto Rico Tourism Company worked with Ketchum PR and were tasked with changing this perception. Ketchum worked closely with trusted influencers to promote recovery milestones; they also validated the destination with third party accolades. They came up with the “seeing is believing” strategy which helped convey that the Island was ready to continue welcoming tourists and in doing so it put Puerto Rico back on the map as a tourism destination in record time.
Sara A. Garibaldi, Partner, Managing Director, Travel & Economic Development at Ketchum commented: “We’re honoured to be shortlisted for our work with Puerto Rico. It has been an incredibly meaningful partnership and we’re thrilled to share the local tourism industry’s incredible comeback story with the world.”
- ‘The Intern-Ship of the Seas’ campaign by Good Relations was focused on changing the consumer perceptions of cruise holidays as a pensioners’ pastime to the place where the extraordinary happens.
Royal Caribbean offered the world’s first Instagram internship, inviting travel mad, adventurous Instagrammers to apply for an #ExtraordinaryExplorer internship role where they would sail for 3 weeks, on 3 ships, across 3 seas, capturing their adventures on Instagram.
The campaign elicited 330,000 individuals globally to enter the competition, increased online sales conversion by 92% year-on-year, and enabled the brand to reach 25% more new-to-cruisers online.
Ben Bouldin, Managing Director, Royal Caribbean commented: “The single most successful piece of brand marketing activity Royal Caribbean has ever undertaken in the UK market.”
The media took the words right out of our mouth when they asked, “is this the world’s best internship?”
- Coming into 2017, Orlando had been struggling with attracting new visitors, keeping up hotel occupancy numbers and overall perception, so the regional tourist board, Visit Orlando developed a campaign to reinforce its brand identity as a top holiday and meetings destination. Orlando’s BIG Thank You by Visit Orlando campaign saw them create a personal and emotional connection with their core audiences. The campaign resulted in a 5% year on year increase in visits in 2017. Results were also seen in the meetings and convention market, with total attendance at the Orange County Convention Centre up 5% on the year.
- Marketing Manchester’s campaign, Worker Bee Weekender, consisted of 77 influencers, photographers and traditional journalists that were welcomed to Manchester for a few days in order to capture and create positive images of the city following the devastating Manchester Arena attack. A first for a Destination Marketing Organisation on such a large scale.
The campaign resulted in 600 social media images, 250,000 likes on the #WorkerBeeWeekender hashtag and 10 million impressions by the time the campaign wrapped. The result also worked to benefit an entire city in recovery and positioned Manchester as a must-visit destination for the travel-savvy millennial generation.
Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester, said: “It’s an honour to have been selected as part of such a prestigious shortlist. We feel it speaks volumes about the work Marketing Manchester does to promote the city-region, and shows that Manchester is building its global reach and maturity as a visitor destination.
“We’re incredibly proud of the Worker Bee Weekender, an innovative influencer project which was able to bring the city of Manchester together to show the world what a diverse and welcoming city it is. We’re thrilled to have it recognised at the International Travel & Tourism Awards”
The awards were co-chaired by Marcelo Risi, UNWTO Chief of Communications, and Nick Pilbeam, Reed Travel Exhibitions Director. Expert judges were drawn from top industry organisations including London & Partners, Euromonitor International, public relations body PRCA, Global Wellness Institute, Association of Southern African Travel Agents, and LGBT consultancy Out Now.
To book your table at the International Travel & Tourism Awards, please visit https://awards.wtm.com/