The COVID-19 health crisis certainly weighed down on us in 2020, as with the rest of the industry around the world. Several projects we were working on were cancelled and we were unable to proceed with the organisation of our Social Travel Forum and Social Travel Summit events.
Despite the hardships and challenges, we’ve been moved and inspired by heartwarming initiatives from the travel blogging community and elsewhere to lend a helping hand to the travel industry, reinforcing our belief that if we work together, we will surface from this crisis stronger and better than before.
The impact of the health crisis on our company and community has been significant but we’re thankful to have had opportunities to continue doing what we love. We’re also grateful for the tremendous support and encouragement we’ve received from both the blogger community and our clients.
In addition to working on various destination marketing and content creation projects this year, we’ve also supported blogger initiatives to help the tourism industry. One initiative we’re particularly excited about is Local Purse, which we will talk about in more detail below.
As we near the end of this crisis, it is our aim to actively participate in efforts to rebuild the tourism industry in a more sustainable and responsible manner. In this sense, we have many ideas in the pipeline and we’re excited to start working on them in the new year! Should you be interested in discussing a content creation or marketing campaign, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Our Projects and Campaigns in 2020
Executing our projects during the COVID-19 health crisis was certainly challenging but close cooperation, constant communication and creative solutions facilitated a successful delivery that adhered to local health restrictions (where travel was involved).
Content creation for Emilia-Romagna
We recently concluded two content creation projects with Emilia Romagna Tourism. This year, instead of organising blogger trips to Emilia Romagna, we invited a selected number of bloggers who have experienced this Italian region to contribute their content. In one project, the bloggers were asked to create itineraries from major Italian destinations to entice travellers to visit Emilia Romagna. These itineraries will be featured on the tourism board’s website. In another project, the bloggers were asked to contribute their favourite Emilia Romagna experiences to an eMagazine.
In September, iambassador, in partnership with the German National Tourist Board and Deutsche Bahn, kicked off the third edition of the #EnjoyHiddenGermany campaign. This edition saw two teams of bloggers and videographers explore off-the-beaten-path areas in western Germany. Check out the videos of the bloggers as they explored Hidden Germany!
Cultour is Capital
In the summer, the bloggers from The Crowded Planet, Margherita and Nick, the videographer, Emiliano Bechi Gabrielli, and the blogger from Pott Spott, Sebastian Becker, traveled to experience 6 different cities (Burgos, Matera, Rijeka, Košice, Gelsenkirchen and Ham) based on transformative tourism experiences, carefully planned by TraCEs TLabs.
The objective of this journey was to do a pilot test so that Bloggers capture the transformative experience and have a first-hand narration of the adventure in the brand new platform: Game of TraCEs.
In the early-summer, we collaborated with Emilia-Romagna Tourism to support the annual Motor Valley Fest. Normally a much-anticipated festival featuring parades of the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Ducati, this year, the festival was held online. To raise awareness of the digital festival, iambassador recruited a team of bloggers who share a common love of Emilia-Romagna to participate in a Twitter chat and Instagram Live sessions. During the chat, the bloggers talked about their experiences in Emilia-Romagna and the Motor Valley.
iambassador also executed two awareness campaigns during the summer months for the city of Graz (#VisitGraz) and the region of Tyrol (#LoveTirol) in Austria. The campaigns were targeted at key markets and the bloggers utilised both existing and new content to share their experiences in these two destinations.
The #VisitGraz campaign was also used to analyse changes in travellers’ behaviour and how this aligns with current strategies.
iambassador, toegther with its partner Traveldudes, organised several sessions at the Buzz Travel Expo in July. These panel sessions discussed topics close to our hearts such as the future of digital destination marketing and the role of travel bloggers.
Also in July, iambassador presented an exciting and well-attended panel discussion on sustainable travel and recovery strategies. This session was held in conjunction with Africa Travel Week organised by WTM Africa. Listen to this session.
In September, our CEO, Keith Jenkins, participated as a guest speaker in a lecture at the European Master of Tourism Management programme. Speaking to students both in-class as well as from around the world, Keith shared his experiences on travel blogging and destination marketing.
The brainchild of Lola Akinmade, one of the content creators in our community, Local Purse is an innovative virtual travel and shopping experience. iambassador is proud and excited to support this groundbreaking project. Created to support local travel guides and artisans, Local Purse takes consumers on a live sightseeing and shopping trip. In partnership with Intrepid Travel, Local Purse successfully organised its first trial tours in Marrakesh, Morocco, and more tours are being planned. Be sure to check out Local Purse and sign up for more info on upcoming tours.
Finally, we would like to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR! We hope that 2021 will bring all of us many joyous moments, good health, promising opportunities and success!