Social tourism case study: The little village that went global

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Back in 2013, the little mountain village of Obermutten, Switzerland, issued a promise on Facebook: anybody who likes the village's Facebook Page can have their picture posted on the village bulletin board. This case study looks at how the village promoted tourism with a digital twist, investing 10,000 Swiss francs and getting the equivalent of a 2.4 million franc media buy.


• Small village of 80 residents looks to boost tourism

• Facebook campaign puts fans photos from around the world on town notice board

• Now some sixty million people around the world have either read about or heard of Obermutten, not bad for a $10,000 investment

Challenge

Not long ago, it was still peaceful in the small Swiss mountain village of Obermutten. This idyllic settlement of a mere eighty residents was known to virtually no one save a few hikers passing through now and then.

Graubunden Tourism wanted to boost the profile of Obermutten, and hired agency Jung von Matt/Limmat to find a way of using digital channels to help the picturesque village stand out from the crowd.

The agency realized that there are many Facebook fans who click the Like button, but who never gain any real connection to the brand.

The solution

With this campaign, the agency wanted to break the barrier between the online and offline worlds, and give the fans that real connection. They also wanted to show that in the small, charming holiday villages in Graubünden, a personal relationship with their visitors is important.

The goal was to boost tourism in this remote region and give it a personal and individual touch.
It all began with a newly created village Facebook page. The local mayor made a remarkable promise in the first video posted on the page: Just click on "like," and your profile picture will be posted on the Commune's official notice board.

In no time at all, the board was completely covered with fans. In order to deal with the flood of inquiries from fans, it was necessary to resort to hang up the profile pictures on barn walls in the village. In the meantime, the community has increased to over 17'000 fans.

The photos were printed out by the mayor and his staff, and pinned up on the board. Pictures of the bulletin board were then posted to Facebook, so that the fans could see their own photos there and tag them. In this way, a small village could go around the world!

With this campaign, they demonstrated that there are still some great small holiday destinations where a personal relationship with each visitor is important.

Results

Now some sixty million people around the world have either read about or heard of Obermutten. Media reports about the village have appeared in over twenty countries.

In South Korea, Obermutten actually made it onto the daily TV news. The agencies 10,000 CHF budget (Swiss francs) generated the equivalent impact of a 2.4 million CHF media buy.

Quickly reaching 16,000 fans, the Obermutten Facebook Page has attracted 200 times more fans than it has inhabitants!

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