For many years, one of the primary tourism marketing strategies has been to pay for high-profile humans to come visit. Generally, that's been in the form of travel writers. But as social media democratises publishing and individuals gain huge audiences through various social channels, that's changing quickly. Tourism New Zealand has been embracing this for a while now (as has Contiki, which recently announced local YouTube star Jamie Curry would join its fourth roadtrip) and Tourism Wanaka got in on the act recently with its first official #instameet last weekend.
Instameets are popular around the world, so Lake Wanaka Tourism invited some of the world’s top social influencers, including Chris Burkard, Ben Ashby from Folk Magazine and Emilie Ristevski, to take snaps for a few days (with the #LoveWanaka hashtag attached, of course) and share knowledge with those who wanted to learn a few tricks from them.
As it says on the website: "These superstars of social media will run exclusive workshops over the two days on their specialities and passions. From timelapse photography to shooting the stars, from capturing that awesome moment to insider knowledge of the best apps to use, these guys know their stuff and are happy to share!"
It's a smart, low-budget idea to get the beauty of the region out to a big audience Burkard, for example, has around 600,000 followers) and to get people to pay for tourism activities in the area. And here are some of the beautiful end results.
One thing I love the most about traveling is the people you get to meet & experience moments like this with — This is one of my favourite photos taken by @lebackpacker. I had such a wonderful time out exploring this beautiful world here in @lakewanakanz with a group of such inspiring people — @folkmagazine @youngadventuress @steen_jones @matjoez @mattglastonbury @miaglastonbury @elizabethgadd. I never would want to leave! #lovewanaka ✨💛