Nine ‘stand-out’ national tourism campaigns are vying to win at the inaugural International Travel & Tourism Awards, presented by WTM.
One of the experts on the judging panel was Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel at research specialist Euromonitor International.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, she said: “There really have been some excellent entries: it’s the first year of the International Travel & Tourism Awards, and the bar has really been set high.
“It is really interesting to see what types of campaigns they’ve been running, in terms of traditional marketing, digital marketing and the various challenges we’ve seen, whether it’s natural disasters or terrorism.”
She added: “There are some really stand-out entries. We’re seeing lots of creativity and innovation in terms of experiential marketing techniques – some really quirky examples and some excellent characters that have emerged from some of the destinations and they’re taking on a life of their own on social media.
“It’s always really useful to find stand-out case studies that others can review, replicate and find new ideas and inspiration, while bringing it back to your own local communities and local culture.”
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).
There are nine candidates on the shortlist for the National Tourism Board Campaign/Destination Marketing Organisation Campaign category:
- ‘Faroe Islands Translate’ by Visit Faroe Islands and Atlantic Airways raised awareness about the destination and helped protect the Faroese language.
Levi Hanssen, Content Manager at Visit Faroe Islands, said: “We’re thrilled to be shortlisted. It’s great to get recognition for what turned out to be a hugely successful marketing campaign.
“It connected people from all over the world with Faroese locals, more people worldwide now know about the Faroe Islands. The Faroese language might even end up on Google Translate.”
- A campaign for the Japanese National Tourism Organisation Campaign by Digital Visitor generated a return on investment worth more than 1,000%.
A Digital Visitor spokesperson said: “We were delighted to be shortlisted for our work with The Japanese National Tourism Organisation. This was an incredibly exciting campaign to work on and we were able to incorporate a wide range of digital marketing tactics to highlight some of the lesser known and amazing experiences available in Japan.
“The results achieved for JNTO surpassed even our own incredibly high expectations.”
- A campaign by Brand USA and MacGillivray Freeman Films marked the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service.
“We are delighted that Brand USA’s Great Outdoors campaign has been shortlisted,” said Tom Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand USA.
“The awards are a benchmark for quality in destination marketing, and this nomination is a testament to the dedication, expertise, and sheer hard work of the team at Brand USA, along with our partners, who built this dynamic and highly successful campaign.”
- PromPeru’s film partnership with Paddington 2 by MDSG celebrated Peru and aimed to inspire audiences to visit the famous bear’s homeland.
A spokesperson said: “The movie is a story of community which once again featured and celebrated Peru. Paddington 2 was a major cinema and cultural moment across all audiences – especially ABC1 families and grandparents.”
- ‘Rebounding for inbounding #thisisegypt’ was a campaign by Egyptian Tourism Authority, J. Walter Thompson Cairo and Mindshare Cairo.
Hany Shoukry, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive of J. Walter Thompson Cairo, said: “Being shortlisted as a possible winner is hugely gratifying and reflects, I believe, the innovative approach we took to attract overseas visitors to Egypt from beyond its traditional core markets.
“We focused on perceived ancillary markets – Eastern Europe, long-haul countries such as the USA, Japan, India and China – and pushed holiday experiences, not just destinations.
“The outcome was terrific and our client – the Egyptian Tourism Authority – was delighted to witness a 64% increase in travellers from this new targeted sector during the first half of last year, to add to the ever-growing numbers of visitors from the country’s main source markets.”
- The ‘Simply #ExtraJordanary’ campaign by Accord Marketing was a destination awareness initiative to position Jordan as a destination of choice within the UK market.
Sally Winfield, Chief Executive, Accord Marketing, said: “Having already been crowned ‘Integrated Campaign of the Year’ at the Travel Marketing Awards, we are delighted to see that this campaign is receiving further industry recognition.
“This campaign successfully increased traffic to the Jordan Tourism Board website by 652% and more than doubled UK visitor numbers.”
- Turismo Centro Portugal’s campaign ‘To Visit and to Stay, is to Help!’ was created following the fires that affected the region in 2017.
“The results were extraordinarily positive, as this region recorded a record growth in demand last year,” said Pedro Machado, President of Turismo Centro Portugal.
“It is, for us, a great pleasure for being shortlisted with other strong candidates.
“It would be a great honour for us if we win this prize, and a way of honouring the efforts of all entrepreneurs, institutions and municipal councils who suffered from the fires of June and October 2017, but who daily struggle to continue to make the ‘centre of Portugal’ the brand of tourism of quality and diversity.”
- The ‘Estonian Stress Buster’ by Visit Estonia, Zavod BBDO and BBDO Berlin aimed to increase awareness of Estonia as a “pure nature holiday” destination that offers an escape from the stresses of everyday life.
Rasmus Vaino, Campaign Manager at Visit Estonia, commented: “It’s an honour to be shortlisted as one of the best destination marketing campaigns among such outstanding industry leaders.
“The 4.4% arrival increase from our target markets and the continued recognition for the ‘Estonian Stress Buster’ campaign demonstrates well the chosen marketing strategy and the hard work of our partners Zavod BBDO and BBDO Berlin, as well as the whole Visit Estonia team behind the campaign.”
- The ‘Symphony of Extremes Born from Finnish DNA’ by Visit Finland featured the country’s extremes: people and seasons, light and darkness, cold and heat – as well as water in all its forms.
Heli Jimenez, Marketing Director of Business Finland, said: “We wanted to tell Finland’s story through an experiment that unites art, science and travel. This symphony is a brilliant example of Finland’s innovative spirit. Also, music brings people together: we want to reach new audiences through the campaign.
“We’re extremely happy to be shortlisted.”