How South Africa used storytelling to increase tourism.

Industry : Travel & Hospitality
Capabilities : Websites

The Challenge

German visitors have traditionally been among the top three tourist groups visiting South Africa. As an already popular destination with this target, the challenge was to ratchet up the level of success. And to create a heartfelt connection to the destination before departure, making the trip an emotional journey. To do this we had to go beyond the expected image of South Africa to show the full breadth of life-enriching experiences that visitors can enjoy.

The Idea

With a new theme, MRM//McCann promoted South Africa as the land of “1,000 Untamed Stories” with each offering a unique “Heartbeat Moment.” Then we created a website that delivered on this promise as part of an integrated campaign that included mobile and print communications.

The website brought this theme to life through breathtaking images and emotionally appealing videos. Travellers and locals told their personal stories, giving visitors a taste of the experience of touring South Africa.

Then we gave users the ability to create their own emotional journeys based on an interactive map that collects the “Heartbeat Moments” that move them. The site enables users to arrange their itineraries, then save and print relevant stories, info and insider tips for their travel planning.

The Execution

    The Results

    •    More than 102,000 unique website visitors during the first 6 months
    •    Almost 52,000 newsletter registrations
    •    Average dwell time: 3 minutes, 2 seconds
    •    Average number of actions per visit: 3.3 actions
    •    Number of German tourists increased 12% over the previous year

    The increase in number of tourists was not included in the back up from the local office. It was found in the sentence below, with the site URL also below. It corresponds to the time of the campaign, and so I believe it can be used for the case. The fact in the Challenge section – that Germans are already among the top 3 groups visiting, was also from this story, and I think this in itself makes the fact that there was a 12% increase following the campaign a strong story.

    “Over the 10-month period, 7.5m tourists arrived compared with 6.8m for the same period in 2011. The number of German tourists increased 12.2% to 204,247.”


    The Awards

    • 2013 WorldMediaFestival | Tourism

    • Silver Award winning website