CTC News

Competitive intelligence: international tourism marketers reach for the skies.

British Airways uses smart interactive billboards to catch consumers’ eyes, while Turkish Airlines uses sports megastars to broaden its appeal.

22 January 2014

A new year brings new horizons to dream of, new challenges to face and new targets to beat. It’s a time when international tourism marketers try to steal a march on their opposition with smart ideas and bold promotions. We at the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) have lots of both lined up for 2014, but you’ll have to wait a little longer for the big reveals.

CTC News staff read the runes around the world to collate these bulletins. Thanks as ever to our international colleagues, general sales agents and industry partners for the inside track.

  • Smart technology 1: British Airways has adopted a new approach to lure American travellers. The Yourope campaign centres on video. Travellers start by looking at a single city, then can explore deeper via further videos in categories such as “classic” or “curious,” before ending with a one-minute tour that was shot by someone using a GoPro for that up-close and authentic touch.



  • Siren call: Brand USA will lift the lid on a major print, radio and TV advertising campaign in Australia this February. The campaign aims to establish the brand Down Under, which is currently America’s eighth biggest long-haul travel market. In May, Brand USA will also be running a mega FAM trip for Aussie travel agents, based around live entertainment to further boost travel-trade awareness.
  • Jade business: Major UK and international companies are queuing up to be part of VisitBritain’s big spring push to lure Chinese visitors. Harrods, Virgin Atlantic and Hilton Worldwide are three of the big guns joining the “China Welcome” initiative, designed to make the UK destination No. 1 for Chinese leisure and business travellers heading to Europe. Over to you, France and Germany….
  • Sporting icons: Turkish Airlines enlisted two global megastars to help enhance its reputation. Soccer’s Lionel Messi and basketball’s Kobe Bryant featured in a selfie shootout that went viral on YouTube within hours of its release.



  • California dreaming:  America’s Golden State wants Aussies to dream big on their next vacation. William Shatner is one of the many celebrity residents starring in Visit California’s latest series of 30-second TV commercials running in Australia that encourage visitors to follow their dreams, not just to Hollywood.


  • Smart technology 2: British Airways (yes, them again!) has been playing with tech back in the UK, too. Its “magic of flying” interactive billboards in central London interact with aircraft flying overhead, revealing flight details and a website to get more information on the route. The #lookup campaign seeks to engender “the magic of flying” in consumers.





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