How Brand Ambassadors Drive Destination Promotion
by CIFFT on 11 April 2024
How Brand Ambassadors Drive Destination Promotion
by CIFFT on 11 April 2024

In such a competitive market as Tourism, destinations worldwide are constantly seeking innovative ways to capture the attention of travelers and stand out from the crowd. One strategy that has proven to be particularly effective is the use of brand ambassadors.

These individuals, often celebrities or influential figures, play a crucial role in promoting destinations by leveraging their personal brand and influence. Here is a set of benefits for destination promotion:

1. Authentic Connections

One of the key advantages of using brand ambassadors in destination promotion is their ability to establish authentic connections with audiences. Unlike traditional advertising, which can often feel impersonal, ambassadors bring a human touch to the marketing message.

Whether it's through promotional ads, social media posts, or public appearances, ambassadors have the power to create emotional connections with their followers, making the destination they represent feel more relatable and enticing.

"Feel the Rhythm of Korea", a series with BTS produced for Imagine Your Korea.

2. Reach and Visibility

Brand ambassadors have a built-in audience that spans demographics and geographies. By aligning with the right ambassador, destinations can tap into this existing fan base and amplify their reach and visibility. Whether it's a popular actor, a renowned athlete, or a social media influencer, ambassadors can reach millions of people with just a single post or endorsement. This widespread exposure can significantly boost awareness of a destination and attract new visitors who may not have otherwise considered it.

"Open for Happiness", a promotional video from Tourism Fiji starring the Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson.

3. Sense of belonging

An ambassador who represents their own country or destination holds a unique position of influence and responsibility within the local community. They serve as a direct link between the destination and its residents, embodying the cultural heritage, values, and aspirations of their homeland. This role is crucial in fostering a sense of pride and belonging among the local populace, as they witness one of their own passionately advocating for their country on a global stage.

Andalucía and Antonio Banderas present "No Joy in Life is Small." In 2022, CIFFT awarded the promotional video as the World's Best Tourism Film promoting a region.

4. Offline engagement

Moreover, the importance of offline engagement should not be overlooked. Participation in events enables ambassadors to transcend their role as mere representatives, fostering direct interaction with the public and media.

Yas Island has appointed the superstar comedian Kevin Hart as its first-ever Chief Island Officer.

5. Credibility and Trust

Brand ambassadors, especially those with a strong personal brand and reputation, bring a level of credibility and trust to the table that traditional marketing tactics often lack. When an ambassador speaks positively about a destination, their followers are more likely to take notice and consider it as a viable travel option. This element of trust can be invaluable in shaping perceptions and influencing travel decisions.

In "No Drama", Robert De Niro turns down an invitation by Roger Federer to be part of a movie about Switzerland. The short film was awarded by CIFFT the World's Best Tourism Film promoting a country in 2023.

6. Unique Experiences

Ambassadors have the ability to showcase a destination's unique experiences in a way that resonates with their audience. Whether it's through imagery, storytelling, or immersive video content, ambassadors can bring the destination to life and highlight its most compelling attractions and activities. By providing a firsthand glimpse into the destination, ambassadors inspire curiosity and wanderlust, motivating travelers to explore and experience it for themselves.

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) partnered with comedian Trevor Noah to promote South African tourism. The campaign is competing in the CIFFT Circuit 2024.

7. Economic Impact

Beyond just generating buzz and awareness, brand ambassadors can have a tangible impact on a destination's economy. Studies have shown that destinations endorsed by high-profile ambassadors often experience an increase in visitor numbers, hotel bookings, and tourism revenue. This influx of tourists not only benefits local businesses, hotels, and attractions but also creates job opportunities and supports the economic growth of the destination.

Zac Efron and Jessica Alba are the stars of Dubai Tourism's global marketing campaign "Dubai Presents".

8. Marketing Awards

In the CIFFT Circuit, the biggest competition for tourism videos, productions featuring ambassadors frequently participate and clinch prestigious awards. This underscores the effectiveness of leveraging ambassadors as a strategic tool in tourism promotion. When executed thoughtfully, incorporating ambassadors into promotional videos not only enhances their appeal but also increases their chances of recognition and accolades. This symbiotic relationship between ambassadors and video content creation serves as a powerful strategy, capable of garnering both attention and awards on the global stage.

"No one upstages the Grand Tour of Switzerland" starring Anne Hathaway and Roger Federer was awarded by CIFFT as the World's Best Tourism Film promoting a Tourism Product in 2023.

Driving Destination Promotion

Brand ambassadors play a multifaceted role in destination promotion, serving as trusted advocates, storytellers, and influencers.

Their ability to establish authentic connections, amplify reach, leverage credibility, showcase unique experiences, and drive economic impact makes them invaluable assets for destinations looking to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

As the travel industry continues to evolve, the strategic use of brand ambassadors will undoubtedly remain a powerful tool for capturing the hearts and minds of travelers worldwide.

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