Hugo Marcos

Video Marketing in Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities

Tourism is one of the main engines of growth in the world economy. According to the World Tourism Organization, tourism represents an essential source of income for many countries and an important part of their GDP. The sector supports millions of direct and indirect jobs worldwide, particularly for women and youth (UNWTO, 2021).

This is also a sector extremely competitive. Due to its economic power and technological evolution, it is possible to observe the emergence of new destinations, products, and services in recent years. The great competition among tourism offers forces the use of effective marketing tools to stand out and attract potential visitors.

From the consumption point of view, tourists are gaining more independence, are technologically more sophisticated, and increasingly demanding in a universe saturated with options, products, and information.

Breathtaking landscapes, exceptional gastronomy, cultural heritage, fantastic museums, impressive beaches, or any factor considered differentiating are elements that make up the destination's brand image. These combined attributes are crucial for the decision-making and purchase process.

And what better way to present these attributes than video? For tourism organizations and travel industry players, at the moment, video marketing presents challenges and opportunities.

86% of companies use video as a marketing tool. (Wyzowl, 2022)

In recent years we have been following the gradual integration of video into the tourism industry, helping to improve the relationship with tourists, educate, convert consumers, and improve customer satisfaction.

However, during the pandemic, video production and usage escalate to impressive numbers, making video the most powerful tool of any marketing strategy these days.

The act of traveling is an experience. We can't test drive a trip like we can a car or see color reality like a television. However, most consumers say that watching product videos gives them more confidence to make a decision because they are more authentic.

90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support (Stackla Data Report)

Video is the experience of an experience. By transporting the tourist to an environment and creating a feeling that makes him want to be part of that moment. For the ability to capture the essence of a destination and create an experience for the tourist. By showing the most differentiating attributes of a destination, its culture, and its authenticity, allied to storytelling that quickly grabs the viewer.

There are no limits to creativity when it comes to producing a tourism promotion video.

A minute of video has the same value and impact as 1.8 million words, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research.

The numbers speak for themselves. Video is the most powerful “tool” for tourism marketing. 

According to Wyzowl, 84% of people say they were convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand's video. From a professional perspective, 93% of marketers say video is an important part of their marketing strategy (Wyzowl, 2022). Cisco predicts that by the end of 2022, online videos will represent more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic (Cisco).

"This award put us in the media from around the world, and the sector acknowledged the great work we are doing." (Octavi Bono, General Director of Catalan Tourist Board)

We have already seen the importance of videos in promoting tourism. Still, they can also be used for other purposes, such as participating in competitions dedicated to recognizing quality in audiovisual promotion and production.

The pandemic that has hit us in recent years has highlighted the importance of brand recognition and the awards obtained. Following a more significant online presence by brands, companies, and their customers, the awards also represent extra visibility.

Winning an award elevates a destination's image, giving it a positive image in the market and positioning it as reputable and trustworthy. On the other hand, awards help to increase trust among stakeholders. Gaining recognition can help develop deeper relationships with customers, suppliers, investors, partners, and media.

The awards achieved must become part of the sales pitch, as they are an excellent attribute to differentiate the brand from the competition. On the other hand, the awards can also help boost morale, both for employees and the inhabitants of a given destination. Winning prizes is a fantastic experience!

“We are honored and delighted to have received so much recognition for this campaign. These awards are a culmination of the hard work that our team has put in over the past months to deliver a campaign that is truly inspiring. I think what these awards serve to accomplish is confirming to us that we are stepping in the right direction, and that we have succeeded in delivering an impactful strategy. Second, it helps position Abu Dhabi as a leading destination in the eyes of professionals within the global tourism industry, which can potentially attract new partners and stakeholders in the future.” (Ali AlShaiba, Executive Director Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi)

There is a vast variety of awards in the audiovisual universe but allow me to highlight the World’s Tourism Film Awards, organized by CIFFT – International Committee of Tourism Film Festivals.

Created in 1989, CIFFT brings together the best tourism film festivals in the biggest and most prestigious award initiative for the Travel Video Marketing Industry – the CIFFT Circuit.

Throughout the year, the tourism films participate in festivals on four continents. At each stage of the circuit, the audiovisual productions are evaluated by an international jury that will define the winners.

Awards obtained throughout each stage will be converted into points that grant access to the CIFFT Ranking List, the leading global resource for benchmarking creativity and effectiveness in Tourism Audiovisual Communication, which establishes, at the end of each year, the World’s Best Tourism Films in five thematic categories: Tourism Destinations Cities, Regions, Countries, Tourism Products, and Tourism Services.

The exclusive World’s Tourism Film Awards recognize and celebrate the most innovative and creative tourism films of the year. Receiving this award is synonymous with prestige, recognition, and visibility.

If you are already betting on video as a strategic tool for promoting your brand and its attributes, you are definitely on the right track. As seen so far, the video presents, like no other format, what the audience will find in a tourism experience. And it does so in an innovative, creative, and highly appealing way.

Hugo Marcos

CIFFT General Secretary

The authors are responsible for the choice and presentation of the facts contained in this document and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of Tourism and Society Think Tank and do not commit the Organization, and should not be attributed to TSTT or its members.

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