7 reasons why Pinterest ‘Place Pins’ are BIG news for tourism

Bruce Martin

Pinterest is a free, image-sharing website with over 70m global members. Pinterest has already been a great fit for tourism as its enables users to explore beautiful images and be inspired to travel.  It’s an even greater fit with the arrival of ‘Place Pins’. Here’s why…

The travel industry has already started to embrace Pinterest, with many tourist boards now curating their own ‘Pinboards’. Texas Tourism alone has half a million followers and several leading organisations in the GCC are investing in Pinterest too e.g. Egypt Tourist Board, Qatar Airways & Atlantis, The Palm Dubai

Pinterest has recently placed tourism front and centre of its product, with the release of ‘Place Pins’.

Place Pins enable members to pin photos to personal maps and show where they have been and crucially, where they are planning to go.

Speaking at the launch event, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, reported that 1.5 million travel-related pins are added every day with a total of 750 million place pins.

So whether it’s documenting a holiday or planning a round-the-world holiday – it can all be done on Pinterest now. Pinterest Place Pins are not just a private feature.  Maps can be public, searchable and shareable. Friends can even all collaborate to a map of their future trip.

This is BIG news for tourism. Think of the possibilities!

1. Contextual Marketing. Tourism suppliers can now see public information of where consumers want to travel. Not only is this free consumer data but it allows them to engage with potential customers.

For example, I found this Pinterest user is planning a group trip to UAE in January 2014. There’s nothing to stop a savvy local supplier engaging with the group leader right now, offering a special discount at their restaurant or attraction.  Smart marketing.

2. Tourist Boards can use the feature to create content-rich maps & guides.  Example: VisitBritain have created a UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the UK map on Pinterest.

3. Travel Publications can create interactive, content-rich features. Example: Condé Nast have created a beautiful Top 100 Hotels in the World map.

4. Travel Suppliers can create image-rich, searchable itinerary maps with links to their own website.

5. Travel agents can create detailed maps for clients or even access people’s maps and give paid-for advice on planning a trip.

6. Local businesses will now enjoy greater exposure thanks to Place Pins integration with Foursquare i.e suggestions of local places of interest are now presented to users.

7. Customer Experience – The link-up between Pinterest & Foursquare also brings many other possibilities such as helping people find attractions, reviews integration & real-time trip progress mapping.

Place Pins isn’t perfect yet, for instance some places are hard to map using the search function.  But knowing Pinterest, they will continue to improve the product.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the tourism industry embraces Place Pins in 2014. I’m especially keen to see smart brands using Pinterest in a more contextual way to connect with travellers.

What do you think?

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