In today’s society, social media plays an integral part in everyday life, and according to a study published by Consumer Technology Association, Digital Lifestyles in China, Chinese consumers are highly engaged on social media with Wechat being the leading social networking platform. Out of Wechat’s users, 86 percent connect multiple times a day.

As a result, many tourist destinations are capitalizing on this and have begun activating social media campaigns to introduce their brands. One of them is Hawaii Tourism China (HTC), which recently utilized the sizeable social media user base and the influence it has on users to position Hawaii as a luxurious and romantic destination for leisure travel, weddings, and honeymoons.

Destinations are turning to Wechat for social media campaigns

To achieve this, Hawaii Tourism China (HTC) launched “My Luxury Wish List”  in November 2016, a month-long integrated digital marketing campaign to entice affluent Chinese consumers to make Hawaii their dream holiday destination.

The campaign featured luxury hotel chains such as Four Seasons Resort in Lanai and Oahu, upscale attractions, and experiences such as helicopter rides, and shopping.

To encourage consumer participation, HTC organized a contest inviting consumers to create their luxury wish list on Wechat for a chance win prizes including airline tickets, hotel stays at Four Seasons Resorts, helicopter experiences with Maverick Helicopter, tours, and dining experiences.

The campaign caught the attention of prominent luxury brands like Shanghai K11 Art Mall, home to an array of high-end international brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Max Mara, Love Moschino, Burberry and Valentino; and BMW Car Magazine.

In another element of this campaign, HTC and Shanghai K11 Art Mall showcased the Hawaiian Islands through Virtual Reality (VR). Utilizing VR headsets and devices, HTC invited weekend shoppers to experience the sensory pleasures of The Hawaiian Islands, and the cross promotion through the combined customer base reached 1.6 million luxury buyers.

Hawaii leveraged VR technologies to showcase the Hawaiian Islands in China

In addition to promoting the Hawaiian Islands as a luxury destination, HTC also introduced a separate campaign, “Romance in Excess,” to advertise the Hawaiian Islands as a romantic destination ideal for upscale weddings and honeymoons.

For this, Hawaii Tourism Board focused on celebrity-oriented content and partnered with Taiwanese celebrity and key opinion leader (KOL), Ady An Yixuan and her beau, Chen Ronglian, to showcase their luxurious destination wedding ceremony in Oahu in June 2017.

The wedding ceremony took place at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. Attended by over 200 celebrity guests including Joe Chen, Bianca Bai, Chen Qiao En, Kimi Hsia and Esther Liu, the wedding ceremony featured Hawaiian cultural elements such as Oli blessings and Lei for the couple, and spectacular entertainment – hula dances, ukulele, and conch.

Partnering with a KOL to promote unique wedding experiences proved fruitful

The campaign generated over 333 million page views on Sina Weibo and a PR value of US$7.2 million, shared across 185 broadcasts, in print, and social media channels in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.

In addition to that, the hashtag #AnYixuanHawaiiWedding also topped Sina Weibo’s list of trending hashtags on the day it launched. To date, the hashtag has garnered over 64 million views.

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Destinations, Travel Tech & Social Media