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The Secret to Boosting Your Travel and Tourism Businesses: Harnessing the Power of User-Generated Content!

There are over 1 million travel and tourism businesses in North America alone.  Competition is fierce when it comes to capturing share of mind. So how do you make your offering stand out?

User-generated content, or UGC, can help. 

UGC refers to the images, videos, text, testimonials, and/or audio created by customers rather than the brand itself. It’s that social media post about an amazing wine tasting.  Pictures from an unforgettable cycling tour. A short video touring an over-the-top hotel room. UGC can instantly delight and transport potential travelers into an experience.

The Power of User-Generated Content

Authenticity and Trust

When it comes to making travel decisions, trust is key. 84% of consumers rely on peer recommendations above all forms of advertising. Firsthand travel experiences shared by fellow wanderers through real stories, unfiltered photos, and sincere testimonials are deemed by peers to be unbiased, trustworthy, and authentic.

Inspiration and Exploration

UGC can reshape the way we perceive travel, shifting it to a deeply personal experience. Consumers find UGC almost 10 times more impactful than influencer content. By offering a glimpse into the adventures of others, UGC can inspire travelers to seek out similar adventures. 

Community Building

UGC enables users to exchange ideas, travel tips, and recommendations. 70% of consumers prioritize UGC reviews or ratings before making a purchasing decision. This collaborative environment creates a space where collective wisdom benefits every participant. Businesses that actively engage with customers online, responding to comments and sharing their content build loyalty and can attract new customers who want to be part of the community.

4 Ways to Inspire User-Generated Content

Did you know consumers spend over 5 hours per day engaging with user-generated content? Here are some ways to tap into that time by getting your customers involved in generating content.

Hashtags, Contests and Giveaways

Encourage customers to share their travel experiences with a unique hashtag that represents your brand. Offer incentives like discounts or the chance for their content to be featured on your website or social media platforms. Take the incentive a step further by inviting guests to share their stories for chances to win free accommodations, travel vouchers, or exclusive experiences.

Interactive Maps

An interactive map can be a powerful tool for engaging website visitors. Use a platform like Google Maps, Mapbox, or Leaflet to create custom maps with markers and pop-ups. Invite users to pin their travel destinations and share their stories through the comment section. This not only encourages UGC but showcases the diverse experiences of your community in a visually appealing way.

User Spotlight Features

Featuring individual stories and testimonials shows your brand values its customers and is paying attention to their experiences. Images and videos make user stories even more engaging and are more likely to be shared.  Be sure to always ask for permission before reposting guest content.

Instagram-able Moments

Set up a photo area or create events that are visual, quirky, or funny to give your guests a reason to reach for their phones. Whether it’s creating a special vantage point to capture that perfect sunset, an eye-popping water ski demonstration, or unique appies at a welcome reception, think about the images that will light up your guests and their social media accounts.

UGC is about real people sharing genuine experiences. Encourage this authentic content, respect it, and celebrate your amazing guests for their creativity. 

The Magnify Digital team is here to help if you’d like more guidance on leveraging UGC to boost your business.


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