German Tourism Board to Highlight Youth Travel
[Travelpulse] The worldwide sales and marketing activities of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) are focusing on youth travel in 2013. The theme ‘Germany for young people – vibrant, fashionable, innovative’ caters to a huge tourism segment offering vast economic potential.
“Young international travelers are a target group with considerable potential for growth,” says Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the GNTB.
Activities for the theme year are centered around a broad-ranging social media campaign entitled “Youth HotSpots in Germany – Share the Moment,” which was officially launched at the 2013 ITB in Berlin and will continue until March 2014. The main communication channels being used at the start of the campaign are the dedicated section of the website and social media platforms, in particular Facebook, Twitter (twitter.com/GNTB2013) and Instagram.
The core elements of the campaign are a mobile app and a new microsite. As most young people now take their smartphones with them when travelling or on holiday, the GNTB has brought out a Youth HotSpot mobile app as part of the campaign. The app is available free of charge from the App Store and on Google Play. It provides young international travelers with an overview of 1,300 open-access Wi-Fi hotspots in Germany, enabling them to access social networks for free.
Another key aspect of the campaign is the GNTB’s microsite at www.germany.travel/youth. It specifically targets young visitors and gives them the chance to find out about Germany before they arrive. An interactive map uses pulsating rings of different sizes to show where there is most going on in Germany in the five HotSpot categories: must-sees, nightlife, shopping, bars & cafés and festivals & events. Clicking on the rings on the interactive map opens the towns and cities in which the different HotSpots are located.
The original HotSpots were selected on the basis of surveys of young Germans. Users will be able to update the map with their own HotSpots and share them with their friends on Facebook and other social media. In doing so, they will be creating user-generated content for the microsite, thereby becoming part of the campaign themselves. This word-of-mouth marketing, which is now very much on-trend, allows the GNTB to make young visitors aware of HotSpots in Germany. Recommendations made by friends on social networks are a particularly important source of information for young people.
The map categories were derived from a survey conducted by IPK International and the 2011 World Travel Monitor (WTM), which found that city breaks (33 percent) and multi-destination tours (27 percent) are especially popular with young European travelers. According to IPK International and the WTM, young visitors’ preferred holiday activities include sightseeing and soaking up the atmosphere in towns and cities. Consequently, the main attractions for them are the major cities and specific events. Shopping and culinary experiences are also popular, as are exhibitions and museums. Germany’s 6,000 or so museums cater to every interest, from art and architecture to history and the natural world.