You know an online tourism campaign is doing it right when you find yourself wanting to visit the destination in question within moments of viewing the website. Bonus points if you’ve never really given that place a second thought.
Take the US state of Idaho. Till now I knew it as a place of potatoes and the where Ernest Hemmingway lived and ended his final years. But the Idaho: Adventures in Living web site changed all that in an instant and proved a very inviting source from which to learn more.
The rustic-looking homepage uses on-screen space well. There’s a slide show showing promotions and images of the state’s diverse natural beauty, plus a host of things to send your mouse to including maps, special deals, 360-degree virtual tours, and the obligatory places to stay, go and do – which are divided into useful sub categories.
The website is backed up by an active social media campaign called the Great Idaho Getaway Sweepstakes, which gives entrants a chance to win monthly prizes such as resort stays with complementary theme park and tour tickets. You can enter via Facebook, Twitter or email – entering all three ways increases your chances.
Idaho Tourism is also pretty busy on Twitter with both its @visitIdaho and @Idahowinter accounts, the latter keeping snow conditions and special ski pass deals. There’s also an entertaining Visit Idaho Facebook page replete with information and deals, fan photos uploaded by satisfied travellers and YouTube videos including it’s the Great Idaho Getaway, an entertaining reality presentation about a family’s vacation through the “Famous Potatoes” state.
This is an excellent example of a tourism campaign that lets the product do all the talking and gives it every opportunity to be heard.