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How DMOs Like Visit Kansas City and Kamloops Use CrowdRiff to Prepare for Recovery (Roundup)

As the summer months draw closer, destinations are preparing for different recovery scenarios—whether it involves reopening local communities, welcoming regional drive markets, or getting ready for interstate travel. 

Visuals are at the core of the story you're telling around recovery. Using immediate and authentic visuals like user-generated content shows people what it's actually like at your destination right now, which helps restore their trust. 

Keep reading to see how the following DMOs are using UGC and CrowdRiff to prepare for tourism recovery. 

We’re always looking for examples of how travel & tourism businesses are responding during this time. You can enter a submission in our Travel & Tourism Community Stories Hub.

Build content to prepare for regional and interstate travel

With almost half (43.4%) of American travelers agreeing that they'll take more regional trips this summer, gathering relevant content to appeal to this market is a top priority for many destination marketers.  

Visit Kansas City put together a virtual vacation through several Midwestern Cities

For National Travel and Tourism Week, Visit KC invited people on a virtual vacation through Catch Des Moines, Meet Minneapolis, Experience Sioux Falls, and Visit Omaha. 

The cities pulled their best user-generated content into a CrowdRiff gallery. The visuals still adhere to social distancing guidelines—they depict city and nature shots with little to no people in them.

When it makes sense, these DMOs can easily update the gallery to display more relevant content. Think UGC showing small groups of people at a safe distance. Adding CTAs can further prompt people to download road trip itineraries or direct them to blog posts to learn more about the area. 

How to do it in CrowdRiff:

  1. Pull in other cities' content by tracking their hashtags, partners, or downloading them with Sidekick.
  2. Create a gallery and embed it on your website.
  3. Use hashtag insights to keep tabs on hashtags explicitly related to road trips or regional travel, which will help you know when it's time to switch the content. 

Activate local pride to support businesses in the community

Some destinations are entering into the early phases of the local phase now or are about to. To prepare, bake in ways to support and engage local partners in your marketing activities. Contests are an effective way to do this.

Kamloops Kamp-In over the Victoria Day Long Weekend

The BC-based DMO is hosting a Kamp-In Contest to encourage people to stay in and support local. The idea is to have people set up camp in their backyard over the long weekend. On their website, they call out community grocery stores, butchers, and home improvement stores as places people can collect supplies. 

People can submit a photo of their campsite using CrowdRiff's Public Uploader to win the "Most Kreative Kampsite" grand prize. 

How to do it in CrowdRiff:

  1. For your contest, choose a goal, determine your rules, hashtag (if necessary), and timeline.
  2. Set up a Public Uploader link. Customize it with your name, logo, and terms & conditions.
  3. Promote the contest and public uploader link on your social media channels, website, and newsletter.

Keep locals and travelers inspired

More than ever, travelers and locals are looking for ways to connect and stay inspired. Without being sales-y, encourage their dreams with content that uplifts and entertains.

Bulldog Tours keeps customers dreaming with UGC and virtual tours

Bulldog Tours, a South-Carolina based tour operator, needed a way to keep their fans and followers engaged. They post live virtual tours on Facebook every day and upload them to IGTV.

They also use CrowdRiff to source UGC, get the rights, and post it on social media. This helps keep their audience inspired, especially as some places around Charleston open up again.

How to do it in CrowdRiff:

  1. Create a hashtag rights app based on where you will use your visuals. If you don't know where you'll use them or plan on using them in multiple places, we recommend using Advanced Rights Management.
  2. Request rights to your favorite images (or the ones that generate the highest engagement). 
  3. Once you have the rights, publish them on social media through CrowdRiff or use them in a digital ad, in your newsletter, etc.

Inspire and entertain, safely

The people who make up your destination are integral to your recovery. As a DMO, look to entertain them, bring them moments of joy, and rally them together around community causes. 

Visit South Bend is using UGC to create jigsaw puzzles of local attractions

The DMO created 10 original digital jigsaw puzzles of attractions around South Bend like Notre Dame's main building, Beutter Park sculptures, or the Riverwalk bridge. They used UGC that they sourced and got the rights to via CrowdRiff. 

How to do it in CrowdRiff:

  1. Request the rights for the images you want to use. Specify where you'll use the images in your request.
  2. Use an online tool like Jigsaw Explorer to create your puzzles and host them on your website.

Visit Mesa's #NTTW20 video shares what locals love most about Mesa

Mesa, Arizona, asked people to share photos of what the destination meant to them. They used CrowdRiff's Public Uploader to collect the entries. 

Then, for Nation Travel and Tourism Week, they made a music video, pulling in the UGC people submitted. The music video also included an original score from a local artist.

Read the case study here.

How to do it in CrowdRiff:

  1. Set up a Public Uploader link and embed it on your campaign landing page.
  2. Select a steering committee to help choose winners and promote the campaign.
  3. Showcase your entries in a video or CrowdRiff gallery.

Visit Indiana’s #INThisTogether video series using CrowdRiff’s Public Uploader to collect submissions

The campaign for National Travel and Tourism week seeks to reinforce the spirit of travel through a series of videos. They used CrowdRiff's Public Uploader to collect entries.

One of the videos has people speaking about what tourism means to them, while another asks "What Is Hoosier Hospitality?"

Experience Waterloo created an inspiring video using UGC

Experience Waterloo, IA, created a video using UGC they sourced from CrowdRiff.

The video promotes social distancing in the community, reminding people "we distance ourselves for now, so that we can come together later."


We distance ourselves for now, so that we can come together later #wearewaterloo

A post shared by Experience Waterloo (@experiencewaterloo) on

To get rights for video content, simply use the same process you would for images. If you're using hashtag rights, create a rights app that is for social media reposting.

Discover Wauwatosa uses UGC in their April newsletter

Discover Wauwatosa, WI, is sending the message that they're excited to welcome people in the near future.

In their April newsletter, they use UGC to encourage safe social distancing activities like getting outside and enjoying nearby trails or exploring local murals.

If you're not using Advanced Rights Management, we recommend using an email rights app to request rights to these images.

How is your DMO preparing for the recovery? Visit our Community Stories Hub to let us know. 

Image credit: @scottwills

How the travel industry is responding to COVID-19

About the author

Julia Manoukian is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at CrowdRiff. A former journalist, she has helped several Toronto startups raise their thought leadership profiles and scale their content efforts to influence revenue. She's passionate about storytelling, traveling, and tech.

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