How Tourism Brands are using video during Covid-19 pandemic?
by CIFFT on 27 May 2020
How Tourism Brands are using video during Covid-19 pandemic?
by CIFFT on 27 May 2020

“Yet again, the strong economic performance of Travel & Tourism proves
the power of the sector as a tool for governments 
to generate prosperity
while creating jobs around the world.”
Gloria Guevara Manzo, President & CEO World Travel & Tourism Council

We know that tourism is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world. However, due to the pandemic, we also know that it is just as vulnerable, or more so, when compared to other industries.

With the Covid-19 outbreak, all tourist activity has stopped. Travel restrictions, cancellations of major events, and general aversion to the risk of traveling internationally and domestically, have caused the famous and idyllic tourist destinations to become deserted. At the same time, pollution has drastically decreased and some fauna have returned to places where they have not been seen in dozens of years.

Most of the DMOs in the world have wondered these days “How should we respond to a crisis of this dimension, which is not our own? If tourists cannot visit us, should we stop communicating?”.

Taking advantage of the fact that people are at home and have more time, but is it ethical to send advertising? Try to sell them a trip without a definite date or guarantees that it will take place? The truth is that there is no manual where we can learn how to deal with a global pandemic. But tourism is made up of experiences that generate emotions, it is made by people for people and the time has come to put people first.

The pandemic has forced us to change our approach to promotion. Tourism Brands now must reposition themselves with a clear message and with a sense of responsibility that: “We will always be here for you.”

"By staying home today, we can travel tomorrow”.
#TravelTomorrow, UNWTO

In the case of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which launched a campaign on April 6 with the hashtag #TravelTomorrow was created as a message of hope and solidarity to deal with Covid-19. View Campaign Here

The campaign quickly created an impact on social networks and is being adopted by several destinations and tourist companies around the world. Companies like Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels with: "#TravelTomorrow: Beachcomber watches over your dreams", Travel Index and the Travel Foundation with: "Live Magic Awaits You In Magical Kenya #TravelTomorrow" as well as destinations like Vanilla Islands, Marrakech, Ras Al Khaimah and many others, who have already joined this initiative, uniting world tourism with the hashtag #TravelTomorrow.

Empathy, Hope and Return to Social Contact,
the Tourist Industry is Projecting Towards the Future

After a few weeks of bewilderment, most tourism brands realized that they had to establish a new communication link with their audiences. Most of the messages, regardless of the level of impact the pandemic has had on their national territories, have a series of common characteristics:


There is an effort to empathize with the confinement experience; In this sense, the home acquires strategic importance as a mental framework and many destinations are committed to reminding their audiences that they are their second home,


Waiting becomes fuel to dream and wish,


Most tourist brands target their audiences personally, to establish an emotional bond.

The pandemic has further strengthened the indisputable role of video as a communication tool for tourism brands. Family scenes, steaming cups of coffee, and looking out windows of homes evolve through imagination to landscapes and images of the excitement of the destinations.

Marketing professionals have warned of the difficulty of communicating high emotional tension in seconds. Destinations understand this.  They have chosen to demonstrate empathy by combining emotional messages with images of their destinations to remain Top of Mind for their audiences.

Creative Agencies Lead the Way

Shoot fast is important, but having aim is much better.
Eduard Baldrís, executive creative director DEC BBDO

According to Eduard Baldrís, executive creative director of the DEC BBDO agency “Brands that lead our preferences usually coincide with those that no longer focus their communication as brands, nor as advertisers. But as a human relationship. Therefore, I believe that, in the first phase of confinement, in the midst of confusion and emotional shock, Top of Mind brands tried to be useful, rather than being present. How? For example, multiplying the spread of the need for confinement. And reinforcing the determination of each person who, suddenly, has to postpone everything. Make sense of your resignation. Set an example, putting each person above the benefit of destiny.


In return, this approach gave these destinations the opportunity to increase effectiveness and relevance in their relationship. Being agile, responsive, personalizing, and segmenting always beats saturation.

After the first shock, the greatest opportunity did not come with videos of target images but, again, with videos accompanied by real events and emotions. Imagination involved and rolled up, initiatives and useful content, participatory or supportive, to stimulate your relationship or increase your magnetism, when everything goes through very delicate moments.


Give prominence. Get closer to real people, as we would do between real people. Making them feel that they really are more important than any brand. Shoot fast is important, but having aim is much better, said a mythical Sheriff. And in communication, contributing to the relationship is always much better than being present. Ask your partner.

In all future projections on tourism post-coronavirus appears a concept that will surely have several creative translations in the upcoming tourism campaigns: tourism "sanitarily safe." Several hotel chains and business organizations have published directives along these lines, and in fact, some DMOs have already communicated in this direction, such as the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi, showing a comprehensive disinfection plan for hotel facilities.


“We are resilient and united we will be able to overcome this difficult chapter in our history.”
Pedro Machado, President of Turismo Centro de Portugal

One of the first videos we saw was "Haverá Tempo - There will be time" launched in march by the Portuguese regional tourism board, Turismo Centro de Portugal. Pedro Machado, president of Turismo Centro de Portugal, highlights the importance of passing positive messages: “With this campaign, we are associated with the enormous effort of the country in raising everyone's awareness. And also, in the creation of hope, so necessary in the days we live. We know that people and companies face extremely tough challenges, but I believe in the humanity and strength of the Portuguese people. We are resilient and united we will be able to overcome this difficult chapter in our history. I truly believe that 'there will be time'.”

Spain, one of the European countries most affected by this pandemic and one of the great leaders in world tourism, also wanted to mark its position in the tourist market. #EspañaTeEspera is the message that Tourspain launched on institutional social networks.

For Angela Castaño, Deputy Director General of Marketing for Turespaña, the video will continue to play a fundamental role in promoting a destination:

The communication policy developed by TURESPAÑA, as the competent AGE body for the promotion of Spain as a tourist destination abroad, has had two main objectives in these terrible times. First, responsibly contribute to a public service by spreading the message of #Stay at home. Secondly, as a leading tourist destination we wanted to maintain an emotional connection with our followers, potential tourists, affirming that when everything happens, Spain will continue to wait for them. Both messages are compatible in this exceptional situation, and contribute to the positioning of the brand image on a channel such as social networks.

We understood that, in this phase of the crisis, the best way to communicate and transfer our message to tourists was through a VIDEO, both for the effectiveness of this audiovisual medium, and for the effectiveness that this format has in social networks. VIDEO in which they could feel identified with the images of everyday situations that are being lived in the homes; In addition to this feeling of empathy, we wanted to convey a very specific message: Spain will continue to be here when everything happens, Spain will continue to be part of your lives, part of your vacation, Spain will welcome you again.”

While many countries are in lockdown with travel restrictions in place, we wanted to send a message of support and hope to our friends around the world.”
Vicki Miller, VisitScotland’s director of marketing

Visit Scotland launched a film on 3 April to remind visitors what Scotland has to offer, trigger memories of previous visits and, most importantly, remember that while a visit isn’t possible right now, it will be in the future. Created by the marketing team of the national tourism organization, from their own homes, “Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder” to send a message of hope for a future when the world is able to travel again.

Vicki Miller, VisitScotland’s director of marketing, said: “While many countries are in lockdown with travel restrictions in place, we wanted to send a message of support and hope to our friends around the world.”

We want to assure them that, whilst they can’t visit just now, we will still be here with a warm welcome for them when the time is right."

By launching this video, we are encouraging fans of Scotland to share their love for the country by posting memories of their trips here in the past and help them and others dream about their next holiday to Scotland.”

We also recognize the tourism industry has been hit extremely hard by the Covid-19 situation and, while we are already working with them to look at a recovery plan once the timing is appropriate, we’re hopeful the strong emotion people have for Scotland across the globe will help a little in this very difficult time.”

In just 4 days the video reached 1.6 million people across Visit Scotland channels (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)

"What if it was possible to allow people from anywhere in the world to explore the islands as virtual tourists through the eyes of a local? Or even better; what if virtual tourists could control the movements of the location in real time?"

Visit the Faroe Islands creative team always surprises us with its original and super creative campaigns and in Covid-19 times ... they did it again. Firstly, they politely asked tourists to refrain from visiting the islands until further notice.

Second, they recreate the Faroe Islands experience for those who had to cancel or postpone their trip to the Faroe Islands - and for everyone else stuck in insolation around the world.

Well, they had an idea. "What if it was possible to allow people from anywhere in the world to explore the islands as virtual tourists through the eyes of a local? Or even better; what if virtual tourists could control the movements of the location in real time?"

A couple of weeks later, the idea became reality. “We have created a new remote tourism tool, the first of its kind. Via a mobile, tablet or PC, you can explore the Faroes’ rugged mountains, see close-up its cascading waterfalls and spot the traditional grass-roofed houses by interacting – live – with a local Faroese, who will act as your eyes and body on a virtual exploratory tour.”

During the virtual tours, which will take place daily during the COVID-19 lockdown, the team at Visit Faroe Islands will be online in real time to answer any questions that viewers may have, providing both inspiration and expert knowledge about places to visit and things to see.

For Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing the message was clear too, “Till we Meet Again”. The video features some of the most important tourist spots, telling people to take a break, reflect and to relax, because all the attractions will be there to greet its visitors again.

“Stories we tell ourselves become who we are, orbiting time & space like we’re writing new scripts. In this city, I've discovered all that's wonderful. What I've discovered is myself. Till we meet again…”

There is no limit, even in times of lockdown.
Creativity is the power!

Roy T. Bennett wrote in his book, The Light in the heart: Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.

There were no doubts about the capacity of the human being, some even say that we are capable of the best and the worst. Today we know that even in the face of an invisible enemy, we do not surrender, and no matter how much they force us to change and adapt to new routines, we will not stand still.

Creativity once again responded with strength, bringing us hope, the dream and the desire to feel the experiences already lived, as well as to live new experiences.

The time will come, to be together again, to be rewarded for the effort, to celebrate life, to share the success with all those who were targeted in your videos.

Congratulations to everyone who made these videos possible and even for brief moments, made us dream and gain new inspiration to travel as soon as possible.

We hope that soon we will be able to meet all of you at one of our 18 festival members spread around the world and if possible, see you raise a trophy, synonymous with recognition for your competence and above everything for the excellence in creativity.

From the CIFFT headquarters in Vienna, we are very happy and proud with our members, only the Azerbaijan Festival in Baku has been canceled and the
Terres Travel Festival – Films & Creativity, which took place in May, postponed its 2020 edition to 8-11 September. The other festivals of the circuit (Circuit Calendar) will keep their official dates and if it is not possible to hold the award ceremony, we will see their digital versions take shape, as happened with the New York Festivals in April 21st.

See you soon ...

We apologize if your video is not here, it was not possible to make an article with all the videos made in the last months but we want to leave at least the link of all those we found.

If you have or know a video and you are interested in including it in our list, please send us the link and some information about it to the email [email protected].

Hugo Marcos
CIFFT General Secretary, Degree in Tourism
and Specialization in Event Management
Santi Valldepérez
Filmmaker and CEO at Terres Landscape
and Travel Communication

More videos from Tourism Brands:

Abu Dhabi
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#StayCurious #InAbuDhabi

Visit Madrid - Together we've never been defeated. Thank you, Madrid.
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#cantskipyesterday #cantskiptomorrow #cantskiphope

Ile de La Réunion Tourisme
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Resplendent Ceylon - A Story of Resilience:
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Visit Guatemala - #QuédateEnCasa para disfrutar de la Guatemala Moderna y Colonial después

#QuédateEnCasa #TuCasaTeEspera #Guatemala

Germany Tourism
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Tourism Australia
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Ticino Turismo - Stay at home – Ticino will be here waiting for you | Switzerland
LATAM Airlines


Feel Slovenia
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#stayhome #ifeelsLOVEnia

Visit Colorado Springs
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#TheAdventureIsYou #BigMomentsCOS

Go Dominican Republic - Stay home.
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American Airlines
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Sri Lanka Tourism - Stay home. Stay safe. But dream
of Sri Lanka...#bucketlistsrilankaVideo


Discover Ireland
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Tourism Switzerland
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Social Distancing

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Email: [email protected]

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