Social Travel Britain Awards 2015
The Social Travel Britain Awards were created to recognise excellence in the use of digital and social media in Britain’s domestic tourism sector. The awards are given to destination marketing organisations (DMOs) and tourist boards, accommodation providers, tourist attractions and transport providers working predominantly in Britain.
And, in the first year of the awards, we received some 60 nominations across 12 categories, giving confidence in the digital progress being witnessed across British tourism, from the big DMO campaigns down to individual blogs and projects.
The 2015 winners were announced at dinner in The Refectory of Salisbury Cathedral, during the 2015 Social Travel Britain conference. The judges were blogger Kash Bhattacharya, Budget Traveller; Nicholas Montemaggi, Digital PR officer for Emilia Romagna Tourist Board, Italy and Gary Grieve, md of Capela Training and a board member of UKInbound.
And the winners are:
Said Nicholas Monetaggi: “The work of Cornwall Tourism on its Digital Marketing Strategy was like seeing in a mirror the work that we do daily at Emilia Romagna Tourist Board, Italy. They showcased a great list of projects, and demonstrated the cooperation and involvement of all the actors – the tourist board and its partners of the region.”
• Best overall use of online video – Visit London for its work on YouTube, including this clip of drone footage of London’s best attractions
• Best campaign/project using social media and/or online video – Cumbria Tourism, for its #theplacetobe campaign
Said Kash Bhattacharya: “Empower your stakeholders and make them part of the story of your destination. Cumbria Tourism empowered local tourism businesses to be the storytellers for their campaign. They are the true destination experts. The local businesses then engaged then with their customers, the tourists and involved them in the story . This bottom up approach of engagement is a great model for any destination marketing campaign – for this reason I think #theplacetobe to be a very worthy winner of this award.”
The company says that more than 50% of website traffic now comes via Facebook, and likes grew from 7,000 in January 2014 to over 100,000 by the end of March this year. Added owner Sally Fielding: “We have increased bookings by 37% over the past 12 months – and during January and February, 2015, we have had a 75% increase and we attribute this to our social media strategy.”
• Best campaign/project using social media and/or online video – Chester Zoo, for its #OurZoo campaign
• Best overall use of social media – East Coast Trains, including its Bid for a Seat Facebook auction, #ILoveTrains, #viewfrommyseat and #MapMyCity campaigns
• Best campaign/project using social media and/or online video – Wightlink Ferries for its #wightlive festivals campaign
* NB: Despite the impressive number of applications, not all category nominations were deemed strong enough to be awarded. We fully expect that to change in 2016…