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Travelocity’s First Annual Beer Tourism Index: Inspiring Americans to Travel One Beer at a Time

The Challenge

Craft beer has exploded over the last few years -- shipments of craft beer were up almost 13% YoY in 2015. Simultaneously, travelers of all ages are in search of authentic experiences. Beer tourism brings these two trends together by connecting travelers yearning for local, authentic experiences with craftspeople who have a passion for creating locally produced goods. With this knowledge, Citizen Relations was tasked with developing a consumer campaign that would position Travelocity as an expert in the beer tourism space and generate buzz and excitement with beer-loving media and fans across the country.

The Approach

To help guide travelers and beer lovers on the best “beercation” possible, we developed the first-ever Beer Tourism Index to help identify America’s top beer destinations. The index looked at availability of rideshare services, accessibility via air and the average cost of lodging. Citizen also reached out to the Brewers Association, a national trade association dedicated to promoting American craft brewers, to source data (e.g. breweries per capita) and add a layer of third party credibility to support our media efforts.

We rallied beer lovers far and wide by sending media kits with branded beer pints to targeted national lifestyle media outlets and hosted LA and OC media/influencers on a “Beercation” in San Diego, a top beer tourism destination. Attendees were treated to an authentic experience including a tasting tour aboard a repurposed firetruck, private tours with the beer makers at San Diego’s top breweries, and a night’s stay at one of Travelocity’s boutique hotel partners that carried nothing but local craft beer on site. We also awarded the CVBs in all top beer destinations with branded beer trophies to encourage social postings and to increase local coverage.

The Results:

In total, Citizen secured more than 2,700 placements reaching 142.7M impressions with an estimated ad value of $1.3 million, including placements in top tier media such as Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure and Men’s Journal as well as 2.2 million social impressions generated by media, CVBs, beer experts and fans.