July/August 2014

Summer has officially arrived bringing with it sunshine-soaked events in the park, locally-brewed seasonal ales and tens of thousands of visitors eager to discover all the original Vancouver has to offer. In order to usher in the summer months and welcome visitors to our destination, the Tourism Office has launched an exciting new social media campaign--#DiscoverVanUSA.

For those of our stakeholders less familiar with the now seemingly ubiquitous "#," the "hashtag"--as it has been dubbed in the world of social media--allows users to search out posts and photos created with specific tags. You might say the hashtag is to social media what the search bar is to Google.

But why does the hashtag matter to the travel and tourism industry? The answer is simple--engagement.

An analysis conducted of companies on the Interbrand 100 list and their activity on Twitter found that social media posts including a link and hashtag showed higher engagement rates than any other post. In short, the hashtag builds stronger communities with online users, which can in turn translate to real world actions such as booking a hotel room, selecting a restaurant or visiting an attraction.

To see our own #DiscoverVanUSA hashtag in action, head over to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For the campaign, users create their own "USA" sign and take pictures with "Vancouver" signs and icons. Afterwards, users upload their photos with the #DiscoverVanUSA tag. The fun part comes later as we foster engagement with users through commenting and sharing photos.

If you have not yet made your own #DiscoverVanUSA post, we encourage you to get creative and join the campaign. We look forward to seeing the discoveries you'll share!

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