Tourism

Travel Weekly sits down with Guinness World Records

Travel Weekly grew up with The Guinness World Records, and the books have been a staple on our bookshelves for as long as we can remember.

While we admittedly became obsessed with the somewhat grotesque wins like ‘The Longest Toe Nails’ and ‘Most Maggots Moved by the Mouth in One Hour’, the Guinness World Records has helped more than just those without toenail clippers.

In fact, the Guinness World Records has become incredibly important to the tourism industry.

To find out more about the relationship between travel and Guinness World Records, Travel Weekly sat down with Guinness World Records head of PR, EMEA APAC Doug Male

Travel Weekly: Why do you think breaking a Guinness World Records title benefits the tourism industry?

Doug Male: Whether it’s a tourism board wanting to promote the area or celebrate the culture, an airline seeking to increase brand awareness or a hotel wanting to attract new customers and boost bookings, a Guinness World Records attempt can create a unique and engaging experience that enables the whole community or business to become record-breakers.

The travel and tourism industry is a highly competitive, where the ability to standout or be unique can a real challenge.

As a business where we make a spectacle of the everyday and highlight the extraordinary, engaging your business or community through record-breaking is another way to gain cut-through, create newsworthiness and earn recognition within the industry and among consumers.

This was the case for Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson, Malaysia who wanted to separate themselves from every other luxury hotel in Malaysia, where every kind of accommodation comes with a pool.

After successfully achieving two Guinness World Records titles including Most swimming pools in a resort and Most overwater villas at a single resort for their 643 swimming pools and 533 overwater villas – more than any other single resort in the world, Guinness World Records created a licensing package for them to use across their owned and bought media.

The success of the licensing has increased website engagement, promoted tourism in Port Dickson and given them world-breaking status.

Since achieving the records, Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson has also used the Guinness World Records holder logo across their YouTube videos, Google AdWords, Yahoo and social media channel as a badge of honour to demonstrate their success.

TW: Is there any evidence, numbers wise, that breaking a record attracts more visitors?

DM: Many.

Check these examples out:

Once Six Flags Over Georgia set the record for Most couples kissing under the mistletoe, it was only a matter of time before sibling rivalry set in.

One year later, Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest regional theme park company, mobilized six additional sister parks to take the record to new heights. Just in time for Holiday in the Park, Six Flags’ annual wintertime celebration featuring dazzling lights and seasonal entertainment, guests were invited to make “kisstory” in a romantic, record-breaking event.

Guinness World Records offered a record-breaking event from their Engage programme. Part of this custom-made package included a pre-event record consultancy service, and so united as a team, Avolon set out to break the title for the Most tennis balls hit into a target in three minutes (team). As well as creating a huge sense of achievement, breaking a Guinness World Records title is a totally unique way to get the team working together.

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development wanted to highlight Ras Al Khaimah as a global tourism destination and launch their latest adventure tourism product – The world’s Longest zip wire.

They wanted to earn regional and global recognition in the tourism arena and create an event that would help them drive their initiatives in attracting a million visitors.

In June 2013, Fiji’s national airline was rebranding to its original name of Fiji Airways.  The new brand identity and service, based around an authentic Fijian experience, also coincided with the delivery of a new aircrafts. As part of its launch in New Zealand, Fiji Airways wanted to do a PR stunt with a difference, something fun linked both to the brand and its product.

Fiji being one of the favourite honeymoon destinations for New Zealanders, the company decided to give Kiwi couples the chance to win a wedding like no other – one taking place at 41,000ft in the air! The ceremony would take place on board its flagship brand new Fiji Airways A330 plane from Auckland, New Zealand to Nadi, Fiji Islands.

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK with mainland Europe, came to Guinness World Records for ideas to kick-start their 20th anniversary celebrations.

Eurostar needed the campaign to both highlight the work of Raymond Blanc OBE, one of the UK’s most respected chefs, in transforming the on-board dining experience for Eurostar’s business premiere passengers, as well as engage passengers of their service to be part of the record attempt.

TW: What do you think is the most creative example of record-breaking in the tourism industry?

DM: From community engagement to creating engaging and shareable content and delivering experiences or public stunts, there are number of campaigns that have been successful for different reasons in the travel and tourism industry.

The Guinness World Records title attempt for the Most models modelling on a catwalk by Culture Liverpool in the UK is one of the most creative.

Part of the Liverpool City Council, Culture Liverpool were looking for a unique, fun and engaging way to bring together an entire community to celebrate the 175 anniversary of the first passenger transatlantic crossing.

With the key objective to generate interest in the history of travel between Britain and America, Culture Liverpool teamed up with online retail giant Very.co.uk and well-known designer Wayne Hemingway HBE to break the Guinness World Records title at the citywide festival, Transatlantic 175.

The intense 3 hour and 50-minute fashion show incorporated both aspects of British and culture through music, fashion, art, film and food.  The event gathered community groups, professional models, children, pensioners, sporting legends and celebrities and included 3,651 people in the catwalk.

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