Viral Videos For Tourism? 5 Destinations Attempting To Boost Their Image With Web Video

We've put together a list of 5 tourist destinations that are using web video to boost tourism, some more successfully than others. Check them all out after the jump.

The advent of web video has made it possible for us to virtually travel around the globe, watching videos of places and people from all over the world. For this reason, it’s no surprise that a lot of countries, cities and travel destinations have been turning to web video to boost tourism. We’ve put together a list of 5 tourist destinations that are using web video to boost tourism, some more successfully than others. Check them all out below.

Woody Goomsba – “Gitcha Goomsba Up!”

Yesterday we received an email tip from one of our readers about this first video (Thanks Mitch!), which just hit YouTube a few days ago and already has nearly 50,000 views. Part of a new advertising campaign for tourism in Leavenworth, Washington, a folksy, faux Bavarian-style town that usually attracts families and a slightly older crowd, the Woody Goomsba viral video campaign is definitely trying to attract a younger, hipper audience.

It seems that many Leavenworth lovers are disappointed by this video, released by the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce, because they think it goes against the town’s traditional image. Even Leavenworth’s own tourism website attaches a warning to the video, saying the “video may be offensive to some viewers.”

Offensive or not offensive? You be the judge. But I will say this – before my attention was drawn to this campaign I had never even heard of Leavenworth. Now I can’t wait to visit the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, go wine tasting, stomp grapes, drink a big mug of beer like the one in the video, and fall in love with 18-foot tall nutcracker, Woody Goomsba.

Inspired By Iceland

Inspired By Iceland is my favorite web video tourism campaign. After a difficult year of bankruptcy and a volcano that just wouldn’t quit, Iceland launched this online campaign in order to show off the beauty of the country and get people interested in visiting. They launched a website, promoted an awesome viral video of people dancing in beautiful sites all around Iceland, and released a whole slew of videos of celebrities talking about how they were inspired by Iceland, including Yoko Ono and Viggo Mortensen. Ever since the campaign launched six months ago I haven’t been able to stop dreaming of a trip to Iceland.

VisitDenmark Hoax

Not all tourism campaigns are as successful as others. A little over a year ago, Denmark Tourism went viral with a video that turned out to be a big hoax. The video was of a Danish girl named Karen, claiming that she was looking for the father of her young baby. Apparently, she slept with a tourist and couldn’t remember his name or even where he was from. However, she is hoping that he will see the video, remember her, and email her so that her baby August can know his father.

In the video she mentions a little bit about tourism, names of a couple of places in Denmark, and a drops some Danish culture tidbits, which spark interest not only in her situation, but also in Denmark and could ultimately lead to people doing some Googling to find out more about this tourist destination. Shortly after it was uploaded, the video was exposed as a hoax, created by VisitDenmark. The video was taken down from YouTube after being revealed as a hoax, but you can still view it here or by clicking on the image below.

Sometimes hoaxes are fun, but many people accused VisitDenmark of going too far with this campaign, and I have to agree. Inventing a young girl who became a single mother after a one-night stand with a tourist isn’t necessarily the best way to promote your country. What do you think? Was the campaign tasteless or a good idea?

Israel – Size Doesn’t Matter

If the VisitDenmark single mother campaign offended people because it tricked them, Israel’s ‘Size Doesn’t Matter’ campaign offended people because it was just plain offensive. It should be pointed out that the video was created to promote the Size Doesn’t Matter blog, but put a bad taste in the mouths of many, even though it wasn’t created specifically by the Israeli tourism board. If you haven’t seen the video yet, check it out below and decide for yourself whether this is any way to promote tourism!

The ‘Size Doesn’t Matter’ campaign likens Israel to a small penis (?!?!) via a rather awkward conversation. I live in Israel and I’ve gotta say, this video sort of makes me want to leave. Do you think it’s an appropriate way to promote a country?

Jersey Doesn’t Stink

Jersey Doesn’t Stink is a movement started by New Jersey residents to clear New Jersey’s name. For some reason, Jersey has got a bad reputation all of the 49 other states, and these guys want people to stop bashing Jersey. With a bunch of Jersey operated and run sponsors Jersey Doesn’t Stink is trying to spread Jersey Pride with Jersey Doesn’t Stink gear including clothes, mugs and even dog shirts, contests, and a whole slew of web videos.

Is it working? I’m not sure. The Jersey Doesn’t Stink evergreen car freshener mascot heads to New York to spread the word about New Jersey, but mostly he just gets a lot of people telling him how much “the armpit of the east coast” sucks.

Do you have a favorite tourism web video campaign? Feel free to share it with us in the comments!