Led by Executive Secretary Ricardo Sosa, in 2021 INPROTUR has increased its online promotion activities with promising results which allowed Argentine tourism to reach the first positions in international markets. Below a review of everything that has been and continues being done.
In spite of the difficulties posed by the pandemic, the National Bureau of Tourism Promotion (INPROTUR) keeps promoting Argentine tourism worldwide.
As part of these actions, Visit Argentina’s digital promotion and communication are of key importance, not only to keep the international markets updated on the latest tourism news in our country but also to invite the traveling community to visit us, once allowed by the health conditions.
As INPROTUR’s Executive Secretary Ricardo Sosa points out: “When we started working on our digital strategy we began to understand our audiences. We found out that some of them are motivated by institutional management contents to learn about the activities that our entity performs and others love our country and are willing to travel around Argentina. This is why the first thing we did was to make a distinction between management and end consumers promotion”.
Some key aspects of the digital strategy designed by the International Tourism Promotion management were creating a community, building bonds with the users, giving them a response to their inquiries and answering all the comments we receive. With the onset of the pandemic, our mission was to retain those audiences and captivate them with varied contents, such as last year’s Argentina Travel Talks –a series of live talks on Visit Argentina’s Instagram account– or Argentina Lovers, an initiative that invites our country’s fans to share their photos on Visit Argentina’s Instagram accounts, as a way to co-operate with the creators’ work and thus contribute to promoting it.
Along with these proposals, INPROTUR has designed an innovative data intelligence system called Aconcagua. “We have generated various intelligence dashboards to be able to understand our audiences and offer them customized contents in line with what they want to see in the different digital spaces. For example, if there are German people who want to go trekking or are interested in adventure, that will be our promotional focus and the content we generate will be directly related to what users are pursuing. These dashboards are key because they enable us to know the preferences and tastes of travelers interested in Argentina”, Sosa added.
The need to activate demand led Visit Argentina to develop contents aimed at appealing to users, based on their preferences. Unlike last year, when Visit Argentina sought to keep its followers captive by means of live broadcasts on Instagram or motivational messages, among other examples, in 2021 other tools were added because audiences already have plenty of other proposals and have other interests. “We saw this on the intelligence dashboards, so we started coming up with more diversified contents. When we started, we had 2 or 3 videos. Today, we have 14 campaigns in various languages operating at the same time”.
High-quality pictures, articles in various languages, audiovisual material, among others, are part of the contents generated by Visit Argentina in response to the need for stimulus that the tourism sector required to further promote Argentina’s proposals all over the world, in spite of the restrictions posed by the pandemic. In this respect, Sosa assures that “the contents allow us to measure and see how many people interact with what we offer, and if good interaction was generated. By analyzing the digital campaign metrics, we are able to identify all this data and work on the messages”.
As far as contents are concerned, a key role was that of the Fund for Tourism Promotion (FONPROTUR), a project born at INPROTUR, with the cooperation of the Federal Council of Tourism (CFT) and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to contribute actions that leverage and improve the promotional strategies of the 23 provinces of the country and the City of Buenos Aires, by means of an extensive image bank of over 3,000 pictures and more than 35 hours of audiovisual material. It is worth noting that 30 local producers in each province have worked to achieve this. Today, having up-to-date quality audiovisual material is key for our digital strategy as video accounts for 80% of the content viewing on the internet. In this connection, Sosa highlights that “this has given us resources because we work not only on the production of material but also on all legal aspects involved: copyrights and assignment of people’s images. And since, together with the provinces, we are the owners of the contents, we are allowed to assign them to all content creators seeking to promote Argentine destinations”.
Regarding end users, Visit Argentina started to post daily contents and give responses on a permanent basis. “This brings about a type of interaction with the community that enables us to position Visit Argentina a lot better than in the past. It allows us to grow but not only in terms of increasing the number of followers but also as far as interaction and conversations are concerned, which is the most important thing on social networks. Today, our interaction grows four times as much as it did a year and a half ago. We have become a communication medium, the main generator of Argentine tourism-related contents in the world. And, as opposed to a medium, we are an entity that supports and provides tools to those interested in generating tourism content about Argentina”.
Through major agreements with Google and Facebook, Visit Argentina can identify the likes and preferences of its audiences as well as how they view the contents. This led INPROTUR to come up with as much creative content as audiences it has in each of the entity’s strategic markets. “That is why our communication is differentiated by IP. This means that we redirect the content we generate to the various markets. What we do for Brazil is not the same as what we do for the US or France, and everything is posted at the same time”.
Planning is critical and Visit Argentina has confirmed this by explaining that the summary of the contents to be posted are ready two months in advance. In this connection, Sosa points out that “our entity represents the whole country, so our contents have a fully federal scope; we rotate them throughout all 24 districts in our country, and arrange them to target the sectors of our audiences interested in viewing them”.
Our efforts on social networks are also key to Visit Argentina’s growth. Apart from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, this year our entity has started working hard on Tik Tok. “We’ve noticed that Tik Tok is starting to become the social network that those under 30 use the most. We are currently building our base on that platform and will soon do it with tiktokers all over the country”.
In addition, the entity is involved in projects with Spotify to promote music from Argentina and is carrying out actions with Trip Advisor. Regarding the latter, Sosa explained that “we have signed content agreements with them under which they generate content about Argentina in their communication media and every day we monitor what is said about our country”.
Another key point that Sosa pointed out was Visit Argentina’s response capacity: “we answer every day and not only the questions. For example, if someone says “Bariloche is beautiful” we answer them and reinforce the message, to motivate them to visit us once the health conditions allow it”.
WhatsApp Business is yet another promotion tool employed by Visit Argentina. “Here the strategy is the opposite, as we do not create content; it’s the other party that requests to be part of a database to receive information. This work is not invasive; we generate content and send it once or twice a month. This content is differentiated: it includes information for the tourism industry and for end users”.
Local Stories is another effort that has given us very good results. It is a series of short documentaries aimed at promoting stories and experiences of Argentinians in various parts of our territory. Tour guides, photographers, sportspeople, young adventurers and other personalities have been part of this initiative.
By analyzing the various types of audiences INPROTUR found out that short videos, a few seconds long only, are preferred. On this basis, Argentine Moments was launched. “In this case, the idea was to come up with something relaxing, with soft music and images from various destinations of our country”.
As already described, Visit Argentina’s campaigns are the result of the likes and preferences shown in the analyses performed by the digital promotion area. The entity has also launched the Tus momentos valen más [Your moments are more valuable] campaign, which targets urban life, with a strong urban fashionable style.
El sur es tu nuevo norte [South, your new Northstar] is another initiative targeted to the Andean market all the way up to Mexico, aimed at having tourists from those countries focus on the southern part of the region, specifically Argentina, once our country is allowed to reopen its borders.
The list goes on with Dejá tu huella [Leave your footprint], a campaign that digs into travelers’ feelings to make them feel identified with Argentine destinations and turn their visit to our country into a meaningful experience.
In winter, snow also had its promotional chapter. “We focused on two key points: one is to have our audience captive to get them to keep dreaming about snow in Argentina and the other to announce to the world that a snow experience in our country is totally affordable, as it offers excellent prices”, Sosa remarked.
Food, vital for any travelling experience and of very high quality in all the Argentine territory, could not be left out. In this respect, FONPROTUR is back on the scene to gather recipes from all over the country, but especially with the aim of conveying the message that “the best recipe is from those who know better about the place of origin”, as Sosa highlights. That was the leit motiv that gave rise to Morfar, a 72-chapter initiative broadcast every Friday at 5 pm on Visit Argentina’s YouTube channel.
Strengthening bonds is yet another feature of INPROTUR’s digital strategy: whenever a patriotic holiday is celebrated in any of Visit Argentina’s priority markets, the entity’s digital team creates a digital piece to remember the event and sends a warm message through a PR strategy, along with all the private tourism sector.
It is worth noting that INPROTUR’s work comprises a voice, translations and music bank of its own.
Finally, the digital strategy efforts made on press media are also worth noting. During the first half of 2021, over 500 monthly publications were released in newspapers, magazines and blogs, among other digital media, from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, the US, Italy, France and Germany. In addition, Visit Argentina is currently working with international news agencies to distribute content to the largest possible number of countries. The sky is the limit for INPROTUR’s work and the entity promises to keep climbing the ladder, to leverage Argentine tourism proposals all over the world.