Hamilton Island Proves Social Media’s Positive Effect on Travel Desires

on July 26, 2013 | Australia | Comments (0)

Hamilton Island’s Ultimate Instameet social media campaigns have proven to be the Island’s most successful standalone PR activity to date, according to new results released today. Following the inaugural Instameet, Hamilton Island witnessed $2million room revenue growth over the campaign period, compared to the same time last year, as well as a nine per cent increase in room bookings, confirming the direct effect social media has on people’s desire to travel.

The ‘Return2Paradise’ Instameet held in May directly reached over 10.8milion people through the social media accounts of the Island’s ambassadors and competition winners; a 20 per cent increase on the inaugural Instameet last November. In addition, 73 images made Instagram’s ‘Popular’ page appearing on all 100million active users’ feeds. The Instameets captured a global imagination through deep consumer engagement, leading Hamilton Island’s Instagram account to grow from a mere 269 followers to an engaged community of over 17,800 followers and growing daily.

798million Tencent Weibo users in China were also exposed to the Instameet due to a landmark partnership between Hamilton Island and the colossal social network. Chinese influencers including supermodel Li Ya Hong, with an impressive 3.7million+ fans of her own, made 106 original content posts attracting 11million+ views and generating 31million+ engaged conversations all relating to Hamilton Island and Li Ya Hong’s experience.

Sophie Baker, Hamilton Island’s Senior Communications Manager, said: ‘As we know, content is king, and we wanted to co-create, curate and syndicate content. To complement the more than 700 insta-images created during Return2Paradise, we also made a YouTube documentary of one of our ambassadors, Jeremy Somers from We Are Handsome, about how his time on-Island inspired him. It’s authentic storytelling and a great way to showcase the Island, share unique tourism experiences and demonstrate Hamilton Island and the surrounding region as an aspirational travel destination.’

The Never-Ending Summer of Jeremy Somers’ also features actress and model Samara Weaving who makes a cameo in the documentary wearing WAH swimwear. The documentary will run on Virgin Australia’s in-flight entertainment system in September, reaching captivated travellers.

The Return2Paradise campaign also hit a home run in terms of ROI, with the PR value 27 times the budget. 112 pieces of branded editorial were created, reaching just under 79million people. The Instameet received mainstream national and international coverage in traditional, broadcast and online media, including a spot on the TODAY Show, news articles on every major news website in Australia, as well as The Huffington Post website, Instagram NYC and USA’s Social Media Monthly magazine.

‘These results prove you don’t need a big budget to create innovative, cut through campaigns that deliver real results and get your brand in front of millions of eyeballs. We achieved earned media of over $3.7million from our Instameets, and successfully changed consumer behavior by engaging past and potential guests through social media. Other tourism bodies are now following suit, with Tourism Tasmania and the Great Ocean Road Marketing both emulating the concept.’

To recap on the results achieved by Hamilton Island:

  • Over 10.8milion people reached directly through the social media accounts of the Island’s ambassadors and competition winners
  • Weibo posts attracted 11million+ views and generated 31million+ engaged conversations all relating to Hamilton Island
  • $2million room revenue growth over the campaign period, as well as a nine per cent increase in room bookings
  • Earned media worth over $3.7 million was achieved.

The YouTube documentary from the second Return2Paradise Instameet is also now going to be aired on Virgin Australia’s in-flight entertainment system throughout September.

To see all the images captured during Hamilton Island’s Instameets search #hamiltonislandinstameet and #return2paradise, and look up @hamiltonisland on Instagram. Click here to view ‘The Never-Ending Summer of Jeremy Somers’.

David : Editor and Founder of I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and Social Media Management. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at