Great success for #gotoReunion

by Destinate News on 29.04.2016

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The Challenge

Historically, Reunion Island has not been actively promoted to travellers outside of France. Destinate’s challenge was to create awareness in South Africa, through the creation of an interactive blog and English langauge content and campaigns. Our next challenge was to promote Reunion Island, an Indian Ocean island, as an alternative destination to Mauritius - an Indian Ocean island which has long been promoted to South Africans as an “affordable package destination”.

The Destinate Solution

Through an innovative, multi-approach campaign, Destinate positioned Reunion Island as the island with “so much more” to offer the South African traveller. Two key messages were 1. the island’s short flight from Johannesburg (4 hours) and 2. the island’s visa-free policy for South Africans.

During the campaign period, Destinate implemented a multi-channel digital presence to promote Reunion Island in South Africa and beyond.

We generated and shared relevant, English-language content in order to promote the many aspects of the island. Through a dedicated blog, an arsenal of social media channels, two successful blogger campaigns, a series of media hostings, trade shows, road shows and trade hostings, we targeted audiences across platforms in a tailor-made format that most resonated with each unique community.

We created highly shareable digital content, in order to appeal to a variety of travellers, from honeymooners, to families and adventure-seekers. We implemented the #gotoReunion hashtag and seeded it across social media, encouraging visitors and locals to share their unique experiences with their friends and followers.

The Stats

Over the campaign period, the #gotoReunion hashtag, originally seeded by Destinate through the Reunion Island Tourism social media channels, was picked up and used by over 7 900 individual Twitter users

#gotoReunion was seen on 85,860,027 Twitter timelines.

The hashtag was used in over 30 900 Tweets.

The #gotoReunion hashtag reached a total of more than 11,9 million Twitter users.

More than 30 400 images were tagged with #gotoReunion on Instagram.

Two high-quality destination videos were shot for the island, showcasing the immense beauty and unique aspects of the destination.

Reunion Island of Adventure from StoryTravelers on Vimeo.

More than 350 unique, English-language blog posts were shared on the site. These posts ranged from inspirational image galleries to useful information on what to expect on the island and how to get there. We published at least 4 blog posts per month (often more than 8 per month) covering travel tips, outdoor & nature, heritage, food, attractions, adventure and activities.

Daily content was shared in English on the Reunion Island social media channels

More than 17 of South Africa’s top bloggers, digital storytellers and online publications were hosted on the island. 

Reunion Island was represented at trade shows including INDABA and WTM, with some of the world’s top bloggers attending meetings at the stands to learn more about the destination.

Print coverage was secured in top travel and lifestyle publications, including Getaway Magazine and GQ Magazine.

GQ South Africa by Tony Weaver

In 2014, Destinate identified and hosted bloggers from around the world for the #gotoReunion campaign. These bloggers included:

Keith Jenkins, of Velvet Escape and CEO of iambassador, based in the Netherlands
Matthew Karsten, of The Expert Vagabond, based in the USA
Priscilla Reis Magalhaes, of VOALI, based in Brazil
Matty Brown, well-known videographer based in Seattle in the USA
Meruschka Govender, voted one of South Africa's top travel bloggers, based in Johannesburg
Kati Auld, for Getaway magazine, based in Cape Town
Selene Brophy, editor for News24Travel, based in Cape Town
Natalie Roos, a popular travel and lifestyle blogger at Tails of a Mermaid
Yann Macherez, a Reunion Islander now living in Cape Town and a National Geographic Channel Adventure Ambassador

The coverage resulting from their participation in the campaign reached well over 1 million users between them, across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and their blogs.

Throughout 2014 and 2015, Destinate also identified and hosted bloggers for the Mascarun campaign. These bloggers included:

Kate Els, of IndiKate
Katarina Mancama, of My Slow Journey

In 2015, Destinate identified and hosted a few of South Africa’s top bloggers for the #gotoReunion campaign. These bloggers included:

Natalie Roos, a popular travel and lifestyle blogger at Tails of a Mermaid
Carlinn Meyer, lifestyle blogger and hugely popular Instagrammer at Superficialgirl and Camps Bay Girl
Mike Eloff, Instagrammer and blogger at The Lawry and Life of Mike
Heather Mason, blogger at 2Summers
Andy Carrie, Instagrammer and digital storyteller
Darrell Lourens, blogger at The Good Holiday and winner of the Best Blog Award at the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2015

Visitor demographics: location

Over the period in review, the great majority of visitors to the blog site are based in South Africa, with 39% of all sessions, or 18 814 sessions, geo-located by server in South Africa. Reunion Island and the United States are the two next visitor groups, with 10% and 9% of visitor traffic to the site respectively

On a city level, Cape Town (12.85%), Sandton (8.84%) and Pretoria (4.19%) lead in terms of identified visitor locations, followed by Saint Denis and Johannesburg.

The results

The results of Destinate’s extensive campaign are clear:

In the last year visitor arrivals from South Africa increased with 26%, which has prompted Air Austral to increase their weekly flights from Johannesburg to Reunion Island. As of October 2016 a third weekly flight will be added to their schedule.

Visit to book your flight and #gotoReunion! 



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