Gamification in Tourism: Campaign Examples from Top Brands


Gamification has had an impact on nearly every industry. But what does it look like in the worlds of travel and tourism? Here’s all you need to learn about why gamification in tourism is an innovative and timely strategy for this ever-growing industry:

What Is Gamification in Tourism?

According to Euromonitor International, tourism gamification has been rising since 2011. An infinitely more exciting approach to tourism marketing campaigns than a travel blog or web page, the uses of gamification range from engaging visitors on the go to helping travelers immerse themselves via interactive learning.

Virtually every tourist has a smartphone, making them an ideal tool. Usage can range from QR codes helping a visitor dive into an attraction to a custom application tailored to a specific destination. Museums and sites can also enhance a traveler’s experience with augmented reality or audio tours.  

If a traveler needs quick access to necessary information such as safety waivers or etiquette standards, gamification can deliver them instantly in an easily understandable way. Are these advantages worth the investment? Absolutely! Let’s get into the benefits of implementing gamification in tourism:

Use Gamification to Level Up Your Tourism Marketing

Why exactly is gamification in the travel industry having a moment? Here are a few crucial ways industry leaders employed this tactic to great success:

Discovery: Art and History Museum of Geneva

Educational challenges attract visitors to tourist destinations by encouraging them to learn more about their surroundings. The Art and History Museum of Geneva, along with many other museums, began offering augmented reality tours to create an enriching educational experience.

Visitors used a smartphone camera to visualize 3D reconstructions of fractured statues, helping them envision what the pieces looked like in their full glory. The result was an active experience that made any visitor with a smartphone feel like they could peer into the secrets of history.

Repetition: Barcelona Memoria Fotografica

Every industry needs loyal customers to thrive. If your gamification activities are genuinely engaging, they’ll encourage visitors to return— in the coming years or the following week. You can choose to evolve your attraction over time while inspiring repeat visits, just as the digital arts center IDEAL did to promote historic cinema in Barcelona. While the venue remained familiar, it offered an experience that was just diverse enough to encourage old visitors to return.

Data Gathering: Foursquare

Gamification engagement metrics can collect tourist activity data to determine which areas are most popular, which inspire the most engagements—even how long people stay at a given attraction. These insights can inspire you to improve further the attractions you manage.

Leaderboards even encourage tourists to compete against one another while tracking simple metrics, such as steps walked in a historic city, or the total number of places visited. In 2009, the social media platform Foursquare encouraged its users to check in to their most frequently visited locations. If you managed to check in somewhere more often than anyone else, you were deemed the “mayor” of that location on the app. This gamified leaderboard helped Foursquare grow its user base. Some local businesses even got involved by rewarding check-ins. 

Scoreboards: Best Western Slot Machines

Tourists can be encouraged to complete tasks with the promise of a worthwhile reward through accrued points. And the most common usage of gamification in the hospitality industry is loyalty programs like the scoreboard program CataBoom helped create for the Best Western chain of hotels.

Via its travel-themed slot machine and loyalty point prizes, the Best Western app drove 2x the standard campaign engagement rate!

Rewards: Southwest Airlines

Rewards are a great way to motivate visitors to use your services. A promised reward can inspire even the most particular customer to show loyalty.

CataBoom helped Southwest Airlines leverage rewards points with their “Wanna Get Away Day” promotion during the summer of 2022.The promotion garnered repeat visits daily, with 3.6 million clicks and 1.6 million registrations. Participants won everything from extra reward points to free roundtrip travel, prompting them to patronize Southwest again and again. 

Start Your Gamification Tourism Campaign Today!

Ready to create more satisfactory tourism experiences for your customers? With a gamification strategy, your services can quickly rise above your competitors. CataBoom is prepared to enhance every journey with our custom-tailored gamification strategies.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about how gamification and tourism can bring new customers and keep happy customers coming back!

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