10 reasons why travel industry should love Pinterest

Tourism is an essentially visual experience and Pinterest embodies the power of online visual content: here is why the love between Pinterest and tourism was born. But images are not the only reason that has driven travel brands to incorporate this platform into their social-networking repertoire.

  1. Demographic. Pinterest is now the third most popular social media platform behind Twitter and Facebook, its daily user base has increased by nearly 150 percent since the start of 2012 and 97 percent of Pinterest users are women. It’s no surprise that DMO’s have been jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. Women 25-44 are a coveted target for many of them as they travel a lot and they are the real decision-makers when planning a trip.
  2. Travelers love Pinterest. Do you remember the travel scrapbook of decades past? Well, actually this digital bulletin gives user the same opportunity: it lets them organise travel boards of inspiration and share them with their networks.
  3. Stories. Brands love telling stories and travel industry brands entrust pictures this task. It can be a bit harder for hotels and restaurants to create a presence without overly self-promoting. It requires creativity and a good dose of thinking outside of the box. Some tips? Capture the best attractions and events in the nearby town or city, photograph the flowers, the pool at sunset, or the first snow dusting the hotel’s rooftop.
  4. Stories from clients. A visitor enjoying a property, a tourist in front of a landmark, or a guest ready to dig into an appetizing dish: all of them are examples of clever way to involve and feature customers by spotlighting them on pins. Visit the board “Wish You Were Here…”: it was born as a series from Four Seasons’ Facebook pages that allows travellers to post their own photos of their hotel experiences. The campaign was such a hit with users that the company expanded to Pinterest.
  5. Pinterest is an incredibly good collaborative travel planning tool. Think at destination weddings (one of the most favourite topics by the typical Pinterest users, that is to say women!). What if a user could have in the same page boards dedicated to tips, locations, trends for wedding and honeymoon?
  6. Word-of-mouth marketing. Travel industry brands should select images that elicit emotions in readers and that are able to embody people’s dreams. If these brands find how their services fit into the lifestyle of their target audience, then they are succesful on Pinterest. This image has made Belgium one of the pins in  the dream destination board created by a user.
  7. You can pin You Tube videos. Videos are engaging, creative, compelling and very shareable. So, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth that many times over.
  8. Pinterest is more effective at driving traffic compared to other social media sites. And as travel industry normally relies on driving a high-volume of website traffic to increase sales, it is no surprise it has a strong presence on Pinterest.
  9. Bloggers and travel writers pin, too! What does it mean? Travel industry brands can collaborate with them, finding creative ways to amplify their content.
  10. Contest. Hosting a contest in Pinterest is a new and unique way to stand out from the crowd. Why? It increases followers and creates brand advocates, encorauges interaction and drives consumers to the site. Have a look at “Repin it to Win it”, the contest hosted by Visit Bucks County, the official tourism promotion agency for Bucks County (Pennsylvania).

Of course, the travel industry is still figuring out how best to use Pinterest. And Pinterest itself is trying to figure things out, especially concerning copyrights. For this reason, we keep monitoring the great love between Pinterest and tourism and are waiting you to join the discussion!

Cristina Palmiotto