Social Denmark: it’s all about recommendations

By Steve Keenan

More from this Social Denmark report we prepared for World Travel Market:

* Denmark’s work with bloggers
* Alex Berger: The blogger’s point of view
* Sex sells holidays in social media
* A chat with Wonderful Copenhagen
* Get on your #bike
* Copenhagen Airport takes off

Throughout Denmark, at 50 popular tourist spots, you will find a sign this summer encouraging visitors to take a photo. Like the photo above. Each sign carries a distinct hashtag, which people are then encouraged to use when sharing the photo on social media.

Residents, as well as tourists, are encouraged to share the photos. It’s a trend: Denmark is one of many tourist boards who now think it’s better that travel recommendations come from travellers themselves.

“We have had a lot of talk about this recently” says Agnete Sylvest Jensen, head of digital media at Visit Denmark. “It’s to get our citizens involved – but what we really want to get is foreign visitors involved and take photos to share.”

“It’s not so important that we get the photos – more that they go out on the visitor’s feed. We see social media as important in personal recommendations.”

“We’ll evaluate in September to see whether more people actually shared photos from these places.”

The influence of previous tourists to potential tourists are clear, says Agnete, and can be divided into two stages:

After the journey: Loyal tourists who have previously been in Denmark and who would like to share their experiences – and can be activated as ambassadors.

During the journey: Shared snapshots, the good moments that users want to share and show the world and ‘them at home.’ Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are seen to be the primary platforms. “Photos shared socially often act as a trigger and inspiration in the early stages of decision-making, and in the choice of destination is in place – very much an inspiration from the recipients,” she adds.

It’s part of the dawning realization worldwide among DMOs that the people to tell the tourism stories are the people who live there, and those visitors who are fans and can influence others.