Photo sharing strategy places Yorkshire on destination wishlist

This case study outlines the introduction of photo sharing to Yorkshire.com as created and delivered by tourism board Welcome to Yorkshire.

Executive SummaryWelcome to Yorkshire’s remit is to increase the visitor economy in Yorkshire. Inspiring potential visitors to visit areas of the county is often our method of choice especially through the content of Yorkshire.com. Our Destinations section of Yorkshire.com was launched on 31st March 2011 to replace our ‘Places’ section to inform and inspire visitors to Yorkshire.com about every area in the county.We realised that strong imagery would be a key factor in inspiring people to visiting Yorkshire. Coupling this with how proud Yorkshire people are of where they live, getting people to submit their own photography would show Yorkshire in a every possible guise including many of the hidden gems that made Yorkshire so special. Yorkshire is lucky as it’s the most beautiful place on earth and seeing just how stunning each and every part of Yorkshire is would be a sure fire way to ensure people strongly considered Yorkshire for their next day out or their next holiday.The Destinations area development focussed on giving the user an insider’s guide to all the various destinations across Yorkshire to make sure they get the most out of their trip. As part of the Destinations development, we wanted to show off the visual delights of county. To do this, we created Flickr groups for each sub-area of Yorkshire, e.g. East Yorkshire, Wakefield, Pennine Yorkshire.

Flickr group

These groups then feed into a Google map for each area of the county allowing the user to see each photo plotted on a map of Yorkshire.

Google map with geotags

This helps inspire the user by showing them what they could see, experience and enjoy if and when they choose to visit the area.

Blog post promoting photo sharing

We have promoted the Flickr groups through a blog post on Yorkshire.com which contained a detailed how to guide on how people sign up to Flickr and submit their photos (especially making sure they are geo-tagged) which in turn was promoted via our Flickr, Facebook and e-newsletter.

Twitter promotion

Facebook promotion

We have had over 1000 photo submissions (not all of these have been of a suitable standard to be accepted) since the launch with some of the groups having over 250 photos added live on to Yorkshire.com. All the photos have been submitted by members of the public who are proud of their Yorkshire and want to show it off to anyone thinking of visiting.

An example of photo submitted - view of Whitby from harbour

We have made sure that each photo is approved to ensure no ‘rogue’ photos make it appear on the site and that all the photos are of a suitable standard.The photos area is complimented by two other maps including the various cities, towns and villages of Yorkshire and all the top attractions for that area. Through this, visitors will have a full picture of where the place they are interested in is, as perhaps most importantly, what they can expect to do and see whilst they are there.The campaign was featured in our consumer e-newsletter which goes to over 85,000 people every month highlighting the best of Yorkshire, it’s been promoted on the homepage of Yorkshire.com (over 5million visits per year) with its own pod, as well as numerous social media pushes which centre around either alerting people to the fact they can have their photos featured on Yorkshire.com and also showing of particular photos that have caught our eye.All the photos are approved first and it’s a pre-requisite of submission that they are geo-tagged.ResultsThe launch of our Destinations area has been a remarkable success when it was introduced for our flagship tourism event, Y11 at the beginning of April 2011. Since then, page views of the Destinations area is up compared to ‘Places’ by an average of 18.5% and the bounce rate has dropped from 55% to 37%.These figures are corroborated by recent Visit England research that says more people are visiting Yorkshire, they are staying longer and spending more. Bed nights are also up a third - the highest increase anywhere in the UK. Yorkshire is bucking the trend as more and more people realise what an incredible place it is.Results from VisitBritain International Passenger Survey (IPS)
  • The latest IPS data for Q2 2011, released by VisitBritain, shows a 16% year on year increase in visitor numbers to Yorkshire from overseas. Yorkshire’s increase is more than twice as large as the increase in the number of overseas visitors to the UK overall (7%).
  • As regards the value of international trips taken to Yorkshire in Q2, this has grown year on year by 22% compared with a 3% increase nationally.
  • The growth in Q2 visitor numbers and their expenditure is mainly triggered by increased numbers of people traveling to Yorkshire from France, Germany, Asia and the USA.
Results from VisitEngland Great Britain Travel Survey (GBTS)
  • During the first six months of 2011, the overall growth in trip volumes to Yorkshire was 7% (3% in GB).
  • Expenditure on domestic overnight trips continued to increase more rapidly than trip volumes, the value of trips to Yorkshire rose by 16% (10% in GB) during the first seven months of the year.
The following graph illustrates results from the Great Britain Tourism Survey. It shows the percentage change between January – June 2011 in domestic trips taken in Yorkshire, compared with England as a whole and Britain as a whole. This case study has been nominated in the category of Best Use of Photo Sharing in the Social Buzz Awards

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