The campaign: #welcomeback!

Tourism without tourism? No fun at all. #Welcomeback. #We have missed you. We launched a major poster campaign combined with an emotional television advert (thank you, singer-songwriter Ibe for the music and Wim Opbrouck for the vocals) to let the whole of Flanders know that the entire tourism industry was ready to welcome everybody back - fan or no fan. The industry shared this message on a huge scale. During the ensuing summer, we bombarded anyone who was fed up to the teeth because they had not had their holiday with large-scale tailor-made content. Even potential customers who would normally book a standard package holiday with waterslides and flumes, or those who would only go for the trendiest places, were shown the way towards the perfect holiday offer. Weekly e-mailing, SEA strategy, target group segmentation, getting influencers on board, PR, radio, television, media partnerships, and content creation in collaboration with all the tourism services in Flanders. Even on the French-speaking side (Destination la Flandre!). We used data dashboards to monitor the campaign on a daily basis. That is how we forecast the intention to travel, and we adjust the campaigns accordingly.

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Results: Plans to travel in Flanders are on the up.

Year upon year, we note a rise in the branded search for Flanders as a holiday destination. This shows that people have changed their mindset. Unfortunately, foreign tourists have stayed away during the past COVID crisis, but more than 32% of home-grown tourists have compensated for that to some extent this summer. But the most striking and sustainable fact is that the travel plans of Flemings are going in the right direction. More and more tourists are also saying that they will continue to travel in their own country in the future.

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