Newlink Tourism: bringing the destination to the people through the use of innovative technologies and tested expertise
Bringing the destination to the people has always been a major challenge for the tourism industry. How many times have we not heard our clients say that they want potential tourists to be able to have a sample of what they could really experience in their countries or hotels? They expect us, professionals in tourism promotion, to find ways to give travelers a taste of what they could find there, of what makes them unique. They want us to showcase their properties, their beaches, monuments, the warmth of their people.
As much as this has been a challenge, it also has served as motivation for us to get creative through time and find ways to generate experiences and to make destinations and brands relevant to target actors so they respond to our calls to action and book their vacation. At Newlink’s Tourism Practice, this has meant an evolution from specializing in public relations and focusing on garnering editorial coverage through pitching and press trips to providing clients with orbital solutions that take into consideration advertising, marketing, trade relations, production, technology, research and more to complement our public relations efforts. Constant movement and information flow have led us to innovate and to equip ourselves with all the tools necessary to stand out from the crowd with effective work and lead our clients into what we call the future present.
Throughout the years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with all aspects of the tourism industry, including networks of tour operators and travel agents, as well as airlines, hotels, online booking companies and destinations in the US and Latin America. This experience has allowed us to touch on the many promotional possibilities based on partnerships, events, activations and use of technology to innovate for our clients and make a measurable difference. We have experienced first-hand the challenge of bringing a destination to the people and we have diversified ourselves to accomplish so with the best results.
Our newest project that has placed us at the forefront of tourism promotion in Latin America is titled Newlink Immerse, which we have launched with the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic. Newlink Immerse is an activation that consists of a combination of the latest technology in 360-degree virtual reality (VR) and an informational center that rounds up the virtual experience so that the excitement of the technology can be turned into a real, more concrete possibility for the potential tourist. The current conversation regarding VR has been centered in the future. Companies and brands are looking to produce 360-degree content that will be downloadable by users when VR equipment becomes available massively at a convenient price. Others are directing these types of experiences to trade shows, so they can wow industry influencers who sell their product.
At Newlink, instead of waiting for VR technology to be available and affordable to everyone to consume on their own or limiting its use to build industry relations, we believe the answer to bringing destinations to the people relies on making full use of innovative technology to target the right audiences in areas in which we can impact large amounts of potential tourists and, at the same time, complement that experience by providing them the appropriate tools to act upon that excitement. We strongly believe that technological experiences should not happen in isolation and, for them to be fully effective and produce results beyond just peaking the potential tourist’s curiosity or excitement, they should be accompanied by the provision of ways to take action upon it and make it happen.
In the case of the Dominican Republic, we are impacting massive amounts of tourists in Bogota’s international airport, as well as Sao Paulo’s, and at a prominent shopping center in Buenos Aires, all strategically selected places where we can bring the destination to our target audiences using this technology that is still new to the public. In these activations, passers-by can stop at a modern branded booth, charge their phones and laptops and experience ecotourism and adventure tourism in the Dominican Republic, specifically in sites found in Puerto Plata and Samana, through two two-minute long videos. After participants have experienced the 360-degree excitement of what it is like to travel to the number one destination in the Caribbean, they are able to get information, log into the destination’s app, share their experience and get informed so that they leave with the right tools to plan their next trip to paradise. This activation is applicable to tourism promotion efforts beyond destinations, which include hotel properties, entertainment venues, as well as venues for meetings and conventions, sales to industry operators and trade shows.
Innovation is at Newlink’s core and the need to bring destinations to the potential traveler will never cease. It is our duty and commitment to continue to be effective –no excuses– in our quest for and development of progressive solutions that will continue to revolutionize the industry and keep us navigating the future present.