4.6 Sustainability & Effective Communication: Storytelling Feature

This feature aims to present a variety of examples from DMOs that excel at storytelling to inspire you in finding new ways to communicate the story of your destination.

As there are different ways of telling a story that can help market destinations in authentic and powerful ways that resonate with a generation of tourists who value the real experience and deeper participation in their own travel experiences, you will be able to take a look at different strategies from a variety of destinations.

This feature aims to present a variety of examples from DMOs that excel at storytelling to inspire you in finding new ways to communicate the story of your destination.

As there are different ways of telling a story that can help market destinations in authentic and powerful ways that resonate with a generation of tourists who value the real experience and deeper participation in their own travel experiences, you will be able to take a look at different strategies from a variety of destinations.

Main Takeaways:

  • Building a presence on social media platforms is crucial for DMOs, but this shouldn't diminish the attempts to create relevant, search-optimised web content using visual storytelling.
  • Tapping into timely, word-of-mouth visual content can be a key driver of awareness for DMOs as they market their destinations, driving meaningful results.
  • User-generated content can help give a snapshot behind the scenes of the everyday life of locals, and using diverse voices can help augment our authenticity and appeal to wider audiences.

The rapidly-changing media landscape and evolving habits of consumers are driving DMOs to focus on content and crafting authentic stories.

But how do you determine the right story to tell? How do you set your destination apart from others? The answer is simple: authentic, captivating destination-based content that epitomises the unique character of a destination.

Today’s travellers demand a wider variety of creative content and in-depth storytelling – moving beyond just listings to tell deeper, more compelling stories. As visitors become inundated with content, they don’t want to feel marketed to. They are looking to instead learn, discover, and immerse themselves in a new narrative.

Storytelling allows destinations to move beyond competing on price, luxury, and other easy-to-mimic factors. Instead, it allows destinations to come alive with historical, cultural, supernatural, or other angles that capture people’s imaginations and invite them to become part of that experience, whether for an entire trip or a single stop along the way.

Nevertheless, there are different ways of telling a story, such as visual storytelling with images or videos, that can help market destinations in authentic and powerful ways that resonate with a generation of tourists who value the real experience and deeper participation in their own travel experiences.

1. Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

"The Tale Blazers" is a series that focuses on the hidden gems of Newfoundland & Labrador. Following Marlee and Mirella, viewers can see just how friendly and open the community is as well as get an insight into the quirky, unpredictable history of the area. This content is television quality, with high production shots and a traditional road-trip documentary editing style. The hosts are charismatic, fun and learn with the viewers about every destination they go to.

Currently, there are 4 episodes available through the Tall, True & Tangled website. The rest of the website advertises plenty of other destinations detailing what tales they may have in easily consumable short videos.

Story Exchange

Story Exchange is an initiative giving visitors a platform to share their experiences by utilising website design to collect and share user-generated content that is true, authentic and high-quality.

By signing up using a social media channel you're able to document your time at Newfoundland & Labrador, becoming an extensive review and valuable resource in increasing interest in the destination.

Tangled Tales

This series of short-form audio editorials are traditional vignettes into the folklore of Newfoundland. These tales are under a minute long-acting as engaging advertisements for places mentioned in the stories, becoming snippets of what has been passed down in the community throughout the history of Newfoundland's vast and ever-changing life.

There are currently 8 audiobooks available.

2. Visit Greenland

Kickstart Greenland Tourism

Winner of a Webby Award in 2021, Greenland shows off another video campaign. Through a campaign video like this, you truly get a taste of the sense of pride that Visit Greenland has in what they do, and a drive to do even better in the future.

One particular point is mentioning working with local artists to headline the campaign with music. Locally sourced arts allow for the personal touch that people want to see.

The Making of Greenland Adventure with Quark Expeditions

In collaboration with Quark expeditions, Greenland aims to appeal to the adventurers amongst travellers. With this behind-the-scenes look at the people involved in launching the campaign, people can see the pride Greenland has in connecting passionate people with passionate travellers and ensuring an unforgettable experience. The video presents the charisma and personalities of the people introduced, giving an authentic, enticing feel to the story they tell.

Enjoy 360° Greenland from your couch

Greenland provides an at-home immersive experience in a selection of 360° videos accessible from their website. This first-person experience is highly accessible allowing for more traffic and interest. With this kind of camera equipment becoming more accessible, this is definitely something to consider if you're looking to create immersive, VR, hybrid experiences.

3. Visit Scotland

Responsible Tourism Promise

Visit Scotland has released a short campaign video with the heartwarming message of recovery coming out of the pandemic. The video shows off the luscious landscapes and countryside of Scotland while giving a short, poignant message on reserving these spaces for future generations.

This has been branded as the Responsible Tourism Promise in which the tag #RespectProtectEnjoy is toted as a symbol of civil duty. This has created a sense of responsibility as people can take it upon themselves to be part of preserving Scotland's natural environment.

Tour Guide Tales Podcast

A more direct, literal approach to storytelling has been a series of podcasts being produced to share insights into a variety of Scottish stories and anecdotes from behind the scenes.

This use of video-less content available through the likes of Clubhouse or Soundcloud harkens to radio shows and dramas, allowing listeners to mentally place themselves in various destinations as well as the stories being told. This behind the scenes look at popular television shows is an incentive to utilise fandom culture as a draw in for viewership as well.

British Columbia

Visual Stories from Local Businesses

More and more platforms are using the temporary, short-form content which is aptly named "stories". Originating with Snapchat and now quite strong on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and more, stories are used to give glimpses and snapshots into the lives of local businesses thanks to British Columbia's ongoing initiative to advertise these local businesses.

Accessible straight from the HelloBC homepage, users can peruse various businesses to get a taste of the experience.

Discover Los Angeles

These Lovely Streets

A series of vignettes into the lives of local artists and business owners in the Los Angeles area. The various hosts discuss the benefits of being situated where they are, the connections they make and the processes they go through to create and express themselves.

The artists chosen are diverse, representing all sorts of socio-economical backgrounds, providing an authentic voice to the average consumer as they simply want. The short, 2-minute clips are easily consumable and share the feelings and faces of the destination effectively.

Tourism Australia

Australia in 8D

8D audio is an audio editing technique that emulates surround sound just through channels. This means that it is a technique that can be used to mimic your hearing if they were in a given destination. Australia has used this technique to give listeners the ability to experience Australia during the pandemic in an immersive, atmospheric setting accessible straight from their website.

The selection of videos uses a colour-coordination theme inspired by synesthetic imagery – seeing senses. These associate moods with colours so the listener can pick one depending on their desired atmosphere.

MySwitzerland

Dream now - Travel later

This campaign is comprised of a multimedia project accessible through the MySwitzerland website. This includes impressive photography and an immersive video experience – a uniquely innovative website design that truly captures the feel of exploration as the destination on the homepage changes from click to click, month to month.

Planning your trip becomes this interactive experience where you get in-depth insights to get a proper demonstration before booking anything. Articles are detailing popular destinations with a narrative voice that just feels like a friend giving you a recommendation. It's personal and welcoming.

Helsinki Freedom

My Helsinki

My Helsinki is an initiative for various people to share their time in Helsinki in short 30-second vlogs detailing their experiences, backgrounds, and inspirational messages for any prospective visitor.


The rest of the Helsinki Freedom website is cleanly designed with a multimedia layout of videos, animated gifs and high-quality photography alongside fun, engaging articles sharing the Finnish lifestyle and insights into any notable logistics of living there.

Visit Portugal

Can't Skip Tomorrow

This video campaign is an inspirational take on preserving the future, personifying "tomorrow" to empathise with viewers. Providing an authentic voice to give the message more relatability. The video has garnered nearly 7,000 views in just under a month as of April 28th 2021.

Taking advantage of the beautiful landscapes and sheer variety of scenery allows for the video to carry the almost omnipotent feel with the voice-over accompaniment.

Video

Sketch Tour Portugal

Collaborating with Urban Sketchers, Visit Portugal sourced 24 artists who illustrated their perspectives of Portugal's 7 luscious regions.

Video

Sketch Tour Portugal also involved working with a selection of writers in order to creatively immerse consumers into the experiences the artists portrayed. They provide a series of short-form videos of the respective regions and the artist's insights on their experiences and processes on each respective article as well as a YouTube playlist.

Being able to present a location directly through the eyes of visitors and their local companions is a unifying experience that really shows the culture and connections going abroad can provide.

As there are different ways of telling a story that can help market destinations in authentic and powerful ways that resonate with a generation of tourists who value the real experience and deeper participation in their own travel experiences, you will be able to take a look at different strategies from a variety of destinations.

This feature aims to present a variety of examples from DMOs that excel at storytelling to inspire you in finding new ways to communicate the story of your destination.

As there are different ways of telling a story that can help market destinations in authentic and powerful ways that resonate with a generation of tourists who value the real experience and deeper participation in their own travel experiences, you will be able to take a look at different strategies from a variety of destinations.

Main Takeaways:

  • Building a presence on social media platforms is crucial for DMOs, but this shouldn't diminish the attempts to create relevant, search-optimised web content using visual storytelling.
  • Tapping into timely, word-of-mouth visual content can be a key driver of awareness for DMOs as they market their destinations, driving meaningful results.
  • User-generated content can help give a snapshot behind the scenes of the everyday life of locals, and using diverse voices can help augment our authenticity and appeal to wider audiences.

The rapidly-changing media landscape and evolving habits of consumers are driving DMOs to focus on content and crafting authentic stories.

But how do you determine the right story to tell? How do you set your destination apart from others? The answer is simple: authentic, captivating destination-based content that epitomises the unique character of a destination.

Today’s travellers demand a wider variety of creative content and in-depth storytelling – moving beyond just listings to tell deeper, more compelling stories. As visitors become inundated with content, they don’t want to feel marketed to. They are looking to instead learn, discover, and immerse themselves in a new narrative.

Storytelling allows destinations to move beyond competing on price, luxury, and other easy-to-mimic factors. Instead, it allows destinations to come alive with historical, cultural, supernatural, or other angles that capture people’s imaginations and invite them to become part of that experience, whether for an entire trip or a single stop along the way.

Nevertheless, there are different ways of telling a story, such as visual storytelling with images or videos, that can help market destinations in authentic and powerful ways that resonate with a generation of tourists who value the real experience and deeper participation in their own travel experiences.

1. Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

"The Tale Blazers" is a series that focuses on the hidden gems of Newfoundland & Labrador. Following Marlee and Mirella, viewers can see just how friendly and open the community is as well as get an insight into the quirky, unpredictable history of the area. This content is television quality, with high production shots and a traditional road-trip documentary editing style. The hosts are charismatic, fun and learn with the viewers about every destination they go to.

Currently, there are 4 episodes available through the Tall, True & Tangled website. The rest of the website advertises plenty of other destinations detailing what tales they may have in easily consumable short videos.

Story Exchange

Story Exchange is an initiative giving visitors a platform to share their experiences by utilising website design to collect and share user-generated content that is true, authentic and high-quality.

By signing up using a social media channel you're able to document your time at Newfoundland & Labrador, becoming an extensive review and valuable resource in increasing interest in the destination.

Tangled Tales

This series of short-form audio editorials are traditional vignettes into the folklore of Newfoundland. These tales are under a minute long-acting as engaging advertisements for places mentioned in the stories, becoming snippets of what has been passed down in the community throughout the history of Newfoundland's vast and ever-changing life.

There are currently 8 audiobooks available.

2. Visit Greenland

Kickstart Greenland Tourism

Winner of a Webby Award in 2021, Greenland shows off another video campaign. Through a campaign video like this, you truly get a taste of the sense of pride that Visit Greenland has in what they do, and a drive to do even better in the future.

One particular point is mentioning working with local artists to headline the campaign with music. Locally sourced arts allow for the personal touch that people want to see.

The Making of Greenland Adventure with Quark Expeditions

In collaboration with Quark expeditions, Greenland aims to appeal to the adventurers amongst travellers. With this behind-the-scenes look at the people involved in launching the campaign, people can see the pride Greenland has in connecting passionate people with passionate travellers and ensuring an unforgettable experience. The video presents the charisma and personalities of the people introduced, giving an authentic, enticing feel to the story they tell.

Enjoy 360° Greenland from your couch

Greenland provides an at-home immersive experience in a selection of 360° videos accessible from their website. This first-person experience is highly accessible allowing for more traffic and interest. With this kind of camera equipment becoming more accessible, this is definitely something to consider if you're looking to create immersive, VR, hybrid experiences.

3. Visit Scotland

Responsible Tourism Promise

Visit Scotland has released a short campaign video with the heartwarming message of recovery coming out of the pandemic. The video shows off the luscious landscapes and countryside of Scotland while giving a short, poignant message on reserving these spaces for future generations.

This has been branded as the Responsible Tourism Promise in which the tag #RespectProtectEnjoy is toted as a symbol of civil duty. This has created a sense of responsibility as people can take it upon themselves to be part of preserving Scotland's natural environment.

Tour Guide Tales Podcast

A more direct, literal approach to storytelling has been a series of podcasts being produced to share insights into a variety of Scottish stories and anecdotes from behind the scenes.

This use of video-less content available through the likes of Clubhouse or Soundcloud harkens to radio shows and dramas, allowing listeners to mentally place themselves in various destinations as well as the stories being told. This behind the scenes look at popular television shows is an incentive to utilise fandom culture as a draw in for viewership as well.

British Columbia

Visual Stories from Local Businesses

More and more platforms are using the temporary, short-form content which is aptly named "stories". Originating with Snapchat and now quite strong on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and more, stories are used to give glimpses and snapshots into the lives of local businesses thanks to British Columbia's ongoing initiative to advertise these local businesses.

Accessible straight from the HelloBC homepage, users can peruse various businesses to get a taste of the experience.

Discover Los Angeles

These Lovely Streets

A series of vignettes into the lives of local artists and business owners in the Los Angeles area. The various hosts discuss the benefits of being situated where they are, the connections they make and the processes they go through to create and express themselves.

The artists chosen are diverse, representing all sorts of socio-economical backgrounds, providing an authentic voice to the average consumer as they simply want. The short, 2-minute clips are easily consumable and share the feelings and faces of the destination effectively.

Tourism Australia

Australia in 8D

8D audio is an audio editing technique that emulates surround sound just through channels. This means that it is a technique that can be used to mimic your hearing if they were in a given destination. Australia has used this technique to give listeners the ability to experience Australia during the pandemic in an immersive, atmospheric setting accessible straight from their website.

The selection of videos uses a colour-coordination theme inspired by synesthetic imagery – seeing senses. These associate moods with colours so the listener can pick one depending on their desired atmosphere.

MySwitzerland

Dream now - Travel later

This campaign is comprised of a multimedia project accessible through the MySwitzerland website. This includes impressive photography and an immersive video experience – a uniquely innovative website design that truly captures the feel of exploration as the destination on the homepage changes from click to click, month to month.

Planning your trip becomes this interactive experience where you get in-depth insights to get a proper demonstration before booking anything. Articles are detailing popular destinations with a narrative voice that just feels like a friend giving you a recommendation. It's personal and welcoming.

Helsinki Freedom

My Helsinki

My Helsinki is an initiative for various people to share their time in Helsinki in short 30-second vlogs detailing their experiences, backgrounds, and inspirational messages for any prospective visitor.


The rest of the Helsinki Freedom website is cleanly designed with a multimedia layout of videos, animated gifs and high-quality photography alongside fun, engaging articles sharing the Finnish lifestyle and insights into any notable logistics of living there.

Visit Portugal

Can't Skip Tomorrow

This video campaign is an inspirational take on preserving the future, personifying "tomorrow" to empathise with viewers. Providing an authentic voice to give the message more relatability. The video has garnered nearly 7,000 views in just under a month as of April 28th 2021.

Taking advantage of the beautiful landscapes and sheer variety of scenery allows for the video to carry the almost omnipotent feel with the voice-over accompaniment.

Video

Sketch Tour Portugal

Collaborating with Urban Sketchers, Visit Portugal sourced 24 artists who illustrated their perspectives of Portugal's 7 luscious regions.

Video

Sketch Tour Portugal also involved working with a selection of writers in order to creatively immerse consumers into the experiences the artists portrayed. They provide a series of short-form videos of the respective regions and the artist's insights on their experiences and processes on each respective article as well as a YouTube playlist.

Being able to present a location directly through the eyes of visitors and their local companions is a unifying experience that really shows the culture and connections going abroad can provide.