Courting controversy: the great hashtag debate
Trialling controversial campaigns in a smaller area is always wise and if it proves successful in one market, consider taking it to other suitable ones.
Instagram has been a boon – and a bane – for the travel industry. Guests sharing pictures of their holidays have been a new source of free marketing for destinations, hotels and attractions. But it’s also meant that some travellers feel compelled to take photos of every moment of their trip.
Looking at life through a lens takes away some of the joy of being in the moment, and it also annoys fellow travellers when Instagrammers jostle them out of the way to take their prized photos. But how do you balance the excellent free marketing that Instagrammers provide with the downsides it causes?
Vienna Tourist Board tackled this issue recently with its Unhashtag campaign. For three days in November 2018, a large red hashtag obscured one of the city’s best-known artworks – Gustav Klimt’s Kiss at The Belvedere Museum.
Helena Hartlauer, Media Relations Manager at Vienna Tourist Board, explains the motivation – and success – behind the campaign. “The goal of the campaign is to spark the conversation about how social media has changed the behaviour of travellers. While it encourages travellers to take fewer photos, we aren’t telling them not to take any pictures. We’re just saying that there’s more to seeing a place than only taking pictures,” she says.
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