Back in the day, people booked holidays through a high-street travel agent. Today, digital experience is everything.
Travellers increasingly look to social media for holiday inspiration and planning. In fact, 97 percent of Millennials say they would share a positive travel experience on social media, and 57 percent of Millennials have made travel plans based on social media images or videos they saw a friend post. In short, social content is the new travel agent.
Knowing authenticity is also a big driver to entice Londoners – especially fun-loving Millennials booking their next holiday destination – VisitScotland came up with an idea to create a physical travel agency in London where instead of brochures and catalogues, visitors would be inspired by the user-generated content (UGC) of #ScotSpirit Instagram posts.
“We know that 92 percent of consumers trust earned media above all other advertising so it was important for us to use real people’s memories and experiences of being in Scotland in a really visual and creative way.” – Laura Mitchell, Assistant PR Manager at VisitScotland
VisitScotland Launches World’s First Instagram Travel Agency
Scotland’s National Tourism Board opened the #ScotSpirit Instagram Travel Agency in October 2017. Upon arrival, visitors are greeted with crisp floor-to-ceiling digital screens displaying hundreds of Instagram photos from across Scotland.
Having used Stackla to incorporate UGC into its website widgets and digital screens at visitor centers around Scotland, Stackla was a natural choice to power the world’s first Instagram travel agency.
“Stackla helps us curate UGC and allows us to segment that content by themes like region, food and drinks, or history and heritage. This helps to showcase a breadth of regions and the wealth of things to see and do in Scotland for our audiences to see.”
Visitors could select their favourite Instagram pictures posted by real travellers, featuring Scotland’s landscapes, sights, restaurants, experiences, hotels and more. The staff then used these images to curate their ideal Scottish holiday itinerary.
“Empowering people to share their images of Scotland means they feel emotionally connected to Scotland and we know it’s this emotional connection that’s a driver for people to visit Scotland.”
Putting this digital twist on the physical travel agent experience has successfully won over Millennials – combining the visual inspiration from authentic consumer content with a human touch in the form of the knowledgeable VisitScotland staff, who provided guidance in planning a memorable trip.
Stackla Helps Visits to Scotland Grow by 34%
During the week of the temporary pop-up Instagram travel agency, VisitScotland saw a spike in their number of Instagram followers. Their average follower net growth increased by 37 percent from August and 23 percent from September.
Scotland’s tourism board was also a PR success. They saw over 192 pieces of coverage generated with highlights including the BBC, Metro and London Evening Standard.
Since using Stackla to leverage user-generated content throughout their multi-channel marketing strategy, VisitScotland has seen the volume of overnight visits by London Millennial audiences to Scotland grow by 34 percent from 2013 to 2016.Since using Stackla to leverage user-generated content, overnight visits to Scotland by London Millennials have grown 34%.Click To Tweet
Going forward, VisitScotland plans to engage and attract even more Millennial visitors with the power of authentic user-generated content.