Hashtag tourism is alive and clicking in Tasmania. Never before has Tasmania been so successfully promoted across the globe thanks to some clever hashtags on social media.
#tassiestyle was created by Tourism Tasmania in 2017 to encourage visitors and locals to share their summertime Tassie experiences on Instagram with friends, family and colleagues around the world. The campaign exceeded all expectations and took on a life of its own – #tassiestyle now has close to 200,000 posts. Tourism Tasmania Social Media Manager Liza-Jane Sowden says more than 800,000 images and videos have been tagged with #tassiestyle and #discovertasmania on Instagram alone to date.
“We no longer have to wait for potential visitors to pick up a magazine, turn on a TV or log onto their computer – most people are never far from their phone, giving us a constant opportunity to reach out and connect with them,” she says. “Nobody tells a story about a destination more effectively and more authentically than the locals or people who experience it first hand. This conversation plays a huge part in what people look for when making a travel decision.”
The Tasmanian travel hub Hobart And Beyond has also “exploded with social love”, says marketing manager Chelsea Bell. #hobartandbeyond has more than 186,000 posts on Instagram. “It has given our visitors so much more power to influence travel and it’s also an opportunity for them to become advocates for our beautiful island state and spread the word about how wonderful Tasmania is to their friends and family,” she says.
Hobart businesses are also feeling the love. The hashtags are increasingly used by lifestyle brands, boosting their exposure to potential visitors looking for the most popular cafes, restaurants and boutique accommodation. “It’s allowed industry to have a presence and create connections to their products and experiences with visitors – past, present or aspiring,” Chelsea says.
The power of hashtag tourism has never been so strong. According to www.tourismtribe.com, 52% of travellers were so influenced by social media in 2018 they changed their travel plans. Instagram reports the platform is the go-to social network for 48% of people choosing a destination for their next getaway – and 35% of them use Instagram to discover new places.
Liza-Jane says the Tourism Tasmania hashtags are used up to 500 times a day. “When you factor in the content we see coming in on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Stories, there would be well over a million Tassie stories shared with us.” ■
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