Innovation That Matters

Viral tourism site recruits expats to help promote New Zealand

Travel & Tourism

Tourism agencies have become innovators in the arts of promotion—witness last year’s job contest spotlighting the Great Barrier Reef Islands, for example—but lately we’ve seen several new efforts aimed at the influx of international visitors expected for a particular global event. Shanghai’s AtYourSide service was launched to coincide with Expo 2010, for example; Africa Talking, similarly, is ideally positioned to benefit from the World Cup. The latest along those lines? Pass It On, an initiative to turn the nearly million New Zealanders who live overseas into a network of virtual ambassadors in anticipation of the Rugby World Cup 2011 event. Kicked off last month by the Kiwi Expat Association, Pass It On aims to get expat New Zealanders to spread the word about everything the country has to offer. With funding, distribution and content support from a variety of New Zealand partners, the effort offers monthly prize draws for participants with Kiwi-centric prizes for the winners. Participants begin by signing up with the effort and then sharing stories from the Pass It On site with friends, family and colleagues—sharable videos focus on travel and cuisine, creative talent, and business and innovation. When the recipients of those stories follow the sender’s link back to Pass It On and sign up, the sender earns “pass points.” Those points then become entries in a prize draw that takes place on the second Monday of each month; prizes range from locally focused T-shirts and ice cream to the Expat Reconnaissance Tour, an opportunity for four Kiwis living overseas to bring their best non-Kiwi mates home for a week of “money-can’t-buy” experiences. Using the Pass Navigator, meanwhile, participants can view their “chain of passes,” including upstream and downstream statistics, the number of people reached, and the countries spanned. As we’ve noted on so many occasions before, advertising can no longer hold a candle to the unstoppable force that is peer-to-peer promotion. How can your brand tap the power of crowdsourcing and social media for its own promotional gain…? (Related: Crowdsourcing the sales forceReferral program helps landlords find tenants on FacebookCrowdsourced chocolate bar promotes Yellow PagesInterContinental hotels get staff to share mates’ rates.) Spotted by: Scott Riddle



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