Visit Brussels

Client: Visit Brussels
Product: Tourism
Title: Now.Brussels
Media: Touchpoints: website, bannering, contextual OOH, DOOH in airport, social videos, influencers (French & Spanish),
Country: Belgium
Date Of Campaign: 14/06/2019

Background: Visit.brussels, Brussels’ tourist board, works relentlessly to boost Brussels’ international reputation as a worthy city-trip destination. Numbers have been rising steadily over the past few years, especially among Spanish and French tourists. However, Brussels generally isn’t deemed a worthy Summer destination, nor do many people consider it worthy of visiting as much as neighboring cities like Paris or Amsterdam. Tourists that do find their way to Brussels, often end up at the same cliché tourist spots, as proven on social media. Visit.brussels wished to inspire prospective tourists and to convince them of the fact that Brussels is much more than what they often think it is, that Brussels is worth exploring in depth!

Idea: Our challenge was to attract new millennials visitors from France and Spain through inspirational content on social media.What we did went far beyond a ‘pretty inspiration campaign’ on social media. We didn’t only inspire prospective visitors but did everything to actually convince them of Brussels’ many assets. Through an integrated connection plan, we attracted them with inspiring and triggering content, convinced them and largely managed to convert them, so that they would actually book tickets to come. We didn’t convince them with content only, we convinced them with a millennial-proof real-time city guide solution.We developed a web app that is an answer to the insight that millennials no longer want to visit places likes tourists. They want to experience cities like locals. It is also based on the insight that visitors often get stuck in the same tourist traps and rarely get to see the ‘true Brussels’ that Brusseleirs know and love. Millennials get to see the vast differences between the cliché tourist spots and where the Brussels people hang out. Using live data, we highlight the buzzing hotspots so that they are directed to the best neighborhoods and the coolest local spots within them.The innovative genius of this idea lies in the complexity of the platform and the effort it took to develop it.We built our map layer via the open source map API Mapbox. We stripped the entire map down to be able to display our custom-made real-time heatmap. To detect the density of the different places we used the Proximus EnCo Real Time Crowd management API. We receive aggregated data of all phone users who are connected with a cell tower at a certain place in Brussels (which is everyone). We only see how many people there are and how many of them are roaming in a certain zone. This enables us to create separate heatmaps of locals and visitors. The information on density is not only used for the visualization but also added to our custom real time ranking algorithm. We rank all the different places we gather from the Foursquare API, Google My Business API and Brussels Agenda API with the Open Weather API, to make sure that all the cool summer terraces are popping up when the sun is shining, and the cozy coffee bars are popping up when it rains. The ranking algorithm is also time and location based. The closer you are by a relevant location on a specific time in the week, the higher it will end up in the ranking. The more people there are in the region, the higher the place will end up in the ranking. The entire ranking is monitored and curated by the tourist board of Brussels and adapted if needed to ensure a highly relevant and qualitative overview on any given time.The different crowd sourced data streams enable visit.brussels to present an authentic experience to whom is looking for an authentic Brussels.

Results: The online platform takes on the role of both a recruitment platform to attract new visitors, and that of a guiding tool to show tourists in Brussels around. Now.brussels enables tourists to finally capture the essence and flow of the city in real-time, the same way locals do.• Global reach: 6.2M. • Total impressions: 62.5M • +200K platform visits in 174 countries• CPC Google: 0.13€ • CPC Facebook: 0.97€ • +7,5% more visitors to all Summer events in Brussels compared to 2018. • Hotel occupation in July 2019: 78,3% (vs. 76% in 2018) • Hotel occupation in August 2019: 67% (vs. 69% in 2018) • +20% more nights booked on Airbnb* in July 2019, compared to 2018.• +23% more nights booked on Airbnb* in August 2019, compared to 2018.• Number of overnight visitors in 2019: 9.4M (7% increase vs. 2018)*The millennial way to visit the city.

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