Few industries are quite as suited as travel and tourism for inspiring amazing user-generated content. The content is part of the experience – and the promise of the experience is what sells the holiday. Authenticity is a key factor here: compared with the glossy perfection of traditional media, UGC in the travel industry makes the experiences on offer irresistibly real.

Here are a few that are worth taking a look at.

Capture the zeitgeist: Tourism Queensland

Tourism Queensland was ahead of the curve with its ‘Best Job in the World’ campaign, which launched back in 2009. On offer: a caretaker position on Hamilton Island, a shell’s throw from the Great Barrier Reef.

The aim was to showcase Queensland as a ‘must-visit’ location for its target audience: adventure-loving, beauty-seeking twenty and thirty-somethings. But it wasn’t just neo-hippies who became captivated with the campaign; everyone did. It soon became clear that everyone is dreaming of their own ‘Best Job in the World’.

And with a salary of $150,000 AUD and such pleasant duties as ‘feeding the fish’ and ‘cleaning the pool’, there was no shortage of interest. Applicants were asked to upload a 60 second video online explaining why they wanted the job; the public and the organisation then shortlisted candidates.Over 34,000 people submitted videos, spreading the message of Tourism Queensland to every corner of the globe.


Keep it fun: Air New Zealand – #AirNZPacked

One of the most remarkable benefits of user generated content is the ability it holds to convey emotions and connect them with a specific industry or brand experience. Although it’s an extremely difficult thing to achieve, some have managed it with apparent ease.

One of the most remarkable benefits of user generated content is the ability it holds to convey emotions and connect them with a specific industry or brand experience. - Highlight to share -

A stellar example of this was last year’s Air New Zealand #AirNSPacked, a social media campaign which asked travellers to upload images of their packed suitcase, so you could guess where they were going on holiday.

The best image was awarded with a $1,000 Air New Zealand travel voucher, but most people participated on the strength of the shared buzz and excitement one experiences in the build up to a holiday. As every well-seasoned traveller knows, the real prize isn’t the destination – it’s the journey.


Jump on a bandwagon: Momondo’s ‘Bright Colours of the City’

Flights and travel search engine Momondo created a competition asking users to submit images that displayed the ‘colours of city life’. They knew that their target audience, young travellers, already love to post holiday snaps online – so they decided to hop on the bandwagon.

And not only did they manage to achieve their brand-boosting objectives, but they also managed to create a well-stocked Instagram account with stunning images of potential travel destinations the world over.

The prize for this contest (a camera) was relatively small in relation to the engagement it provoked. It went to show how engaging customers in what they already love doing can be a very cost effective way of achieving a number of brand goals.


So the lessons from these examples of UGC are simple:

1. Make sure you hit a common nerve;

2. Make sure generating the content is fun;

3. And make sure you work your campaign around an already-existing trend.

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3 great examples of UGC in travel and tourism