Tourism embracing Foursquare as Yorkshire grabs a European first

Tourism embracing Foursquare as Yorkshire grabs a European first

There’s lots of potential for the tourism industry to take advantage of location-based services like Foursquare. Given the still small number of people actively using these services, tourism industry activity has been mainly experimental in nature thus far.

Now the UK’s Welcome to Yorkshire has put a stake in the ground by becoming the first tourist authority in Europe, and only the 8th in the world, to get a branded presence on Foursquare.

Many other tourist authorities around the UK and beyond have already set up standard Foursquare profiles to varied levels of success, but the branded option allows businesses to enhance their presence with a banner graphic and welcome text. While it doesn’t sound like much, this can be useful as brands don’t necessarily want to use Foursquare in the same way as individual users. Checkins and mayorships aren’t important, with emphasis shifting to tips, friends and (in some cases) badges in order to promote locations or complement other online marketing.

Kristal Ireland, digital media manager for Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “A number of our team have been using Foursquare for a while and we felt now was the right time to embrace Foursquare and help users find out more about our great county in a fun, interactive way.”

At present, getting a branded presence on Foursquare isn’t easy. As About Foursquare recently reported, the New York-based startup is working on a self-service tool for brands to customise their profiles. Until now Foursquare has been accepting applications from brands on an individual basis, something that simply won’t scale as the company grows.

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