InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has introduced InterContinental Icons, a new campaign that aims to rediscover the most-visited cities and invites the public to take part in a global conversation about what makes the destinations truly iconic.
The hospitality giant’s independent study1, carried out in Paris, London, New York, Shanghai, Dubai, Sydney and Mexico City, revealed that travellers often feel they only scratch the surface of a city. More than three-quarters (77 per cent) say they feel obliged to see the most popular tourist sites, despite 75 per cent expressing a desire to see more of what the city has to offer and to explore like a well-informed local.
Additional analysis of Instagram posts revealed that the Eiffel Tower in Paris is the most posted tourist site, representing 10 per cent of all posts worldwide. Buckingham Palace is the most-tagged site in London (21 per cent) and Central Park is the most-tagged in New York City (20 per cent), highlighting that tourists are often focused on visiting the same ‘must-see’ sites.
These findings were confirmed by locals in each of the seven cities, with more than half (59 per cent) feeling that tourists miss out on the best their city has to offer.
InterContinental’s new campaign features an online poll asking the public to select the most symbolic sights, sounds, tastes, smells and feelings in these cities, that will connect travellers more deeply when they visit.
Vice president, global marketing, IHG Luxury Portfolio, Ginger Taggart commented: “As a pioneer in luxury travel, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has always been the gateway to fascinating places and local cultural wisdom, so we understand that travellers are craving a deeper connection to the places they visit. With our latest campaign, InterContinental ICons, we’ve set out to discover and celebrate authentic places and moments that might be overlooked by visitors but are truly part of what makes a city special.
“Whether it’s the feel of salt air while riding New York’s Hudson River ferry, the melodious bells of the clock tower on the Bund in Shanghai, or the feel of cobblestones underfoot on old Parisian streets, these ICons might include under-the-radar experiences, or well-known tourist hotspots viewed in new and unexpected ways. We want to reignite a sense of fascination for these much-visited cities and encourage discussion around what makes them truly iconic,” Taggart concluded.