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Travel in France





Brive-la-Gaillarde is focusing on social networks to attract foreign visitors

Interview with Stéphane Canarias, Director of the Tourism Office


le Jeudi 12 Novembre 2015

Rather than buying advertising space in the media, the city of Brive-la-Gaillarde decided to communicate differently to attract tourists. Thanks to social networks and Internet, Brive managed to strongly boost its popularity amongst visitors from both France and abroad. Stéphane Canarias, Director of the city’s tourism office, tells us about the foundations of this mode of communications.



Brive-la-Gaillarde is focusing on social networks to attract foreign visitors
TourMaG.com - How did you get the idea of communicating differently?

Stéphane Canarias: We began from a simple observation: Brive isn’t really a glamorous or sexy destination… Which is why a billboard campaign, or advertising in the media did not seem very efficient to promote our city. Brive holds a spirit of “robust dudes” with rugby and local cuisine. So we decided to highlight these characteristics rather than the city itself. And since we don’t have a large budget, we turned to Internet and tackled viral marketing.

TourMaG.com - How did you communicate on Internet?

Stéphane Canarias: We asked Brive’s inhabitants to be ambassadors of their city. In 2010, we launched a quirky photo competition on the web and Facebook, with a prize of two roundtrip Paris/New York tickets to win. To attain the trip, contestants had to take a photo that was representative of the city by including a logo “I love BG,” BG standing for Brive-la-Gaillarde, an echo to “I love NY.” The success was massive on social networks which led to a strong buzz around Brive.

TourMaG.com - How do you work to attract foreign tourists?

Stéphane Canarias: First, we target the British market through social networks. Promotion actions are focused on press receptions around themes that define the region: cuisine and art of living. Then, we add events for British bloggers to boost the destination’s visibility on the web and social network. We mostly invite specialized anglo-saxons bloggers who have a strong following to develop client/consumer opinion and attractive multimedia contents (photos/video) for a foreign target, that is primarily British.

http://www.brive-tourisme.com


How to get there

By plane
- Information Airport Brive Vallée de la Dordogne (aeroport-vallee-dordogne.com 05 55 22 40 00).
Paris (Orly West) www.hop.com / London City www.cityjet.com / London Stansted www.ryanair.com / Ajaccio (April to September) www.hop.com / Amsterdam (June to September) www.cityjet.com /Maastricht (April to October) www.ryanair.com

By train
From Paris 4h / Clermont-Ferrand 4h / Bordeaux 2h30 / Toulouse 2h15

By car
Paris- at 480km through A20 highway. Toulouse- at 200km through highway A20. Bordeaux- at 200km through highway A89. Clermont-Ferrand- at 180km through highway A89. Lyon- at 360km through highway A89.

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