How the travel industry is using social to build Brand Love and recruit new users: KLM and Cape Town Tourism show us how

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The travel industry has been creating interesting digitally-driven campaigns for quite some time. This makes a great deal of sense given that the industry was among the first to truly gain scale online with consumers at large. A big opportunity for online travel businesses is to get their consumers to book several aspects of their trips with them, or when it comes to airlines to ensure they are considered first when planning a trip. The way to achieve these objectives is to facilitate the trip planning process: not just sorting out a flight and accommodation, but also things to do, places to see, and experiences to seek out.

Countless Brands have developed programs that help travelers better plan their vacations. Many of these programs are now using social, specifically the Facebook platform, to not only add value to the traveler but also to market their Brand to the travelers friends. There are two from KLM and Cape Town Tourism that I stumbled upon this week that do exactly that.

When it comes to airlines, they want the positive memories of your vacation to be associated with them. This will hopefully ensure greater loyalty to them when planning your next getaway. KLM has been very smart at using social to enhance the vacation experience beyond the flight but still have the airline in mind (see post on their brilliant social media programs). With their recent campaign, they have found a nice and simple way of blending social with offline. They created and app what lets your friends know where you are traveling, and collates their tips into a personalized tourist map, and then send the traveler a nice printed version of the map. See below

When it comes to tourist boards, they want to promote their cities beyond what the travel booking sites or travel books suggest. The goal is to inject money into their economies. What I really like about the idea from Cape Town Tourism is that they wanted to help local businesses that are off the beaten path and need tourist money. At the same time, tourists generally want really authentic and unique experiences. The idea was to allow Cape Town Tourism to hijack a person’s FB profile for a short while and provide ongoing updates of great things to see in Cape Town based on likes, interests, etc. Not only did this provide really novel trip ideas, but also merchandized the different side of Cape Town to the travelers friends. Brilliant.

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