Last week, New York City re-launched its tourism website, newly designed to ‘spread the dynamic image of NYC throughout the world’.
This was a little surprising to me for two reasons.
Number one: That New York would invest so heavily into promoting an already highly-desirable travel destination.
Number two: Do people even use tourism websites anymore?
With most hotel and travel companies providing all the information you need, from transport links to ‘things to do’, it’s easy to assume tourism websites might be overshadowed or left a little forgotten.
But as NYCGo demonstrates, it appears they’re having somewhat of a resurgence.
Here are five more examples of sites that have been quietly producing some of the most slick and engaging content around.
(Don’t blame me if you end up booking a flight somewhere after.)
Never mind the country, visiting ‘The Official Travel Guide of Finland’ is a damn fine experience in itself.
Chock full of stunning imagery and easy-to-digest copy, it’s one of those websites that you can easily get lost in for a while.
One feature I particularly enjoyed was the Finngenerator – a name generator designed to reflect the mythological culture of the country.
Sure, it’s pretty pointless, yet it’s little touches like this that elevate an otherwise stagnant website into something unique.
Instead of simply offering information, it succeeds in getting the user involved, and consequently, much more engaged.
The Swedish Number
Another Scandinavian country that’s producing exciting content, Sweden is even more bold when it comes to executing campaigns.
Introduced to mark 250 years since the abolishment of censorship, it recently launched ‘The Swedish Number’ – the country’s very own telephone number.
Whether it’s to enquire about the Northern Lights or what they had for breakfast, the idea is that you can call up and speak to a random Swede about whatever you fancy.
The website itself is brilliantly designed, using lots of informative copy and cool stats to back up what is undoubtedly a pretty risky idea.
While the campaign could be seen as more of a gimmick than a valuable source of information, it’s still a brilliantly original way of increasing awareness about a particular place.
You Might Like Oregon
Tone of voice is always a tricky thing to determine, but when it comes to tourism, it’s all the more difficult.
How is it possible to decide what an entire country should sound like? For smaller locations like cities or states at least, it’s a little easier.
Oregon is a great example of how to do it well. The website itself is full of top-notch content, yet the aspect that stands out the most is its consistent and distinct tone.
Deliberately self-effacing, it comes off as both personal and humorous.
Using the tagline “We like it here. You might too”, its series of short and tongue-in-cheek videos further reflects the site’s distinct style.
Alongside its beautiful design, Travel Oregon is a great example of how a consistent and confident tone of voice can be an excellent groundwork from which to build content.
Discover Northern Ireland
Forget stunning architecture or ancient tradition. Tourism Ireland knows that the mere mention of Game of Thrones is enough to spark a lot of interest.
Using the fact that the TV series has been filmed in multiple locations across Northern Ireland, it has created its very own ‘Explore Game of Thrones’ hub.
Including quizzes and fun trivia about the filming locations as well as lots of in-depth information, it is a clever example of how popular culture can capture the imagination.
By encouraging users to get involved in a host of GOT-inspired activities, it also shows a side of the country that many people might not have discovered otherwise.
Looking at beautiful photos is usually enough to inspire a bit of wanderlust, but Australia.com’s series of immersive videos guarantees it.
From swimming in the Great Barrier Reef to watching a sunset over Sydney Harbour Bridge, each video gives a complete 360-degree view of an experience, offering the viewer insight into what it’s actually like to be there.
Even better, the videos are also compatible with Google Cardboard to further emphasise the immersive experience.
While the rest of Australia’s tourism site is full of similarly jaw-dropping content, these videos show how travel and VR truly are a match made in heaven.
Have you worked on an award-worthy marketing project in the Travel & Leisure sector this year?
If so, make sure to enter Econsultancy’s Masters of Marketing Awards before June 17.