VANCOUVER, British Columbia & TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CrowdRiff, the leading visual marketing platform for travel and tourism brands, today announced Travel Stories, the world’s first connected story experience for travelers. Travel Stories – which provides a mobile-first, visually immersive experience for travelers to plan their trips – officially launched today in collaboration with Destination BC, British Columbia’s provincial tourism organization. Now live on HelloBC.com, Travel Stories enable Destination BC to automatically publish stories created by partners within its all-new BC Story Network in alignment with its Content Commonwealth strategy – a shared approach to content marketing, built on common tools, processes, and expertise. Through Travel Stories, Destination BC is creating a seamless narrative for travelers that makes it easy for them to research and more effectively plan their trips to BC, Canada’s western-most province. Participants in the BC Story Network include 29 regional and community destinations within BC, such as Kootenay Rockies Tourism, Tourism Kamloops, Tourism Whistler, Tourism Golden, and Destination Campbell River, as well as associations like British Columbia Golf and corridors like Scenic 7.
“The BC Story Network is the first of its kind in Canada, and a great example of how strong partnerships are driving innovation in BC’s tourism industry,” said Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination BC. “Consumer behaviour is shifting rapidly, and this innovative partnership with CrowdRiff has given Destination BC and our partners across the province the ability to inspire potential visitors through a format that’s seeing exponential growth, globally.”
Stories are one of the fastest-growing formats in the history of digital marketing. Since the inception of this highly visual and easily digestible format, the growth has been staggering. Snapchat, where the Stories format originated, has more than 200 million daily active users; and there are an estimated 500 million daily active users that consume or create Stories on each of these platforms: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp – with more users trying out the feature every day.
Travel Stories is powered by CrowdRiff, the leading visual marketing platform for travel and tourism brands. As the world’s first connected story experience for travelers, Travel Stories enables Destination BC and its tourism industry partners to capitalize on the explosive growth of the Stories format, as well as significantly expand their ability to scale and share content across the destination in powerful ways not previously imagined:
- Travel Stories are contextual and offer much more data to provide travelers with the depth of information needed in researching a destination;
- With its omni-channel approach, the same Travel Stories can be created once and shared everywhere, from a destination’s website to Google Search, Facebook, and Instagram to exponentially increase the reach of the rich content being shared;
- Travel Stories are connected across the travel ecosystem, eliminating the need for brands to manually connect with partners to source local stories. This networked experience enables a traveler interested in a particular destination to view stories from different partners – and easily connect with them if so desired – without having to actively seek out each one individually.
- The content shared through Travel Stories is evergreen.
The new stories format being used by Destination BC also addresses a notable challenge faced by destination marketers. While traditional marketing begins with awareness, followed by consideration, and then purchase; in the travel industry, consumers are constantly moving up and down the funnel before making a decision. Travel Stories ensures that content meets the needs of the traveler at every stage, with more in-depth information or the ability to book travel experiences just one swipe or click away. This innovative, mobile-first, visually immersive format of storytelling is poised to change how travel marketers share their content online.
“We are seeing a convergence of trends when it comes to the new stories format, driven largely by rapid consumer adoption and search engines like Google investing in the format. Traditionally, marketers in the travel ecosystem have only focused on their particular brand within a traveler’s journey. We saw the opportunity to create a connected experience for the traveler that brings together a variety of travel partners – from destinations to attractions to outdoor adventure and activities,” said Dan Holowack, co-founder and CEO of CrowdRiff. “As one of the most innovative travel brands in the world, Destination BC was the perfect partner to bring Travel Stories to life.”
Since the Travel Stories pilot launched this summer, participants in the BC Story Network across the province have created over 800 stories, resulting in over 1.4 million impressions and 145,000 story views.
“Our research has shown that over half of mobile site visitors click away if a page takes longer than three seconds to load,” said Jon Bromstein, Head of Industry, Government & Tourism at Google Canada.
“By leveraging AMP for travel stories, Destination BC is able to immediately capture the imagination of travellers and build instantaneous connections, leveraging a lightning-fast user experience.”
Travel Stories, powered by CrowdRiff, is being unveiled today at CrowdRiff’s inaugural conference, SEE2019, taking place in Toronto. An acronym for Seek, Explore, Experience – the SEE2019 conference has brought together the world’s smartest (and coolest) travel and tourism marketers for two days of keynote talks, hands-on training, networking, and adventure.
Additional information on Travel Stories, powered by CrowdRiff, is available at crowdriff.com/travel-stories.
About Destination British Columbia
Destination BC is a provincially funded, industry-led Crown corporation that supports a strong and competitive future for BC’s tourism industry through a combination of global marketing, destination development, industry learning, cooperative community-based programs, and visitor servicing. Destination BC receives approximately $52 million each year, out of a Provincial investment of about $140 million in BC’s tourism ecosystem as a whole. These investments help to improve the visitor experience, support businesses and communities, and strengthen BC’s worldwide reputation as a destination of choice. For more information about Destination BC’s programs and services, please visit: http://www.DestinationBC.ca/
CrowdRiff is an AI-powered content marketing platform purpose-built for the travel and tourism industry. The platform combines content discovery, digital asset management, and content delivery tools that enable marketers to source and share top performing visuals with their respective audiences, at scale. To date, CrowdRiff has processed over 500 million images, and the company currently works with over 700 leading travel and tourism brands globally, including Destination BC, Colorado Tourism Office, CityPASS, and the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions. For more information, visit crowdriff.com.