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The first month after the long summer break sees destinations moving full-speed ahead on social media initiatives.

The list below contains both traditional destination marketing organizations, as well as two park systems — Disney’s private one, and the U.S. National Park system, as represented by the Department of the Interior. They’re grouped together based on how travelers experience them and interact with them online rather than traditional categories that could see them listed separately.

The top ten, below, are calculated using our Skift Score, which takes into account performance on an absolute basis, as well as relative to within a company’s specific industry. Comparing metrics across companies and travel sectors provides an intelligent measure of real-time competitive edge.

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Name Skift Score Twitter Follows Facebook Likes Youtube Video Views Instagram Followers
Tourism and Events Queensland 813 70,833 1,151,426 2,555,380 79,967
Walt Disney World Resorts 807 846,582 14,598,861 174,955,632 593,694
Tourism Australia 787 162,676 6,073,250 18,697,848 874,879
Travel Alberta 759 127,292 216,247 6,408,404 65,109
Visit Philly 747 80,543 410,111 672,897 19,994
U.S. Department of the Interior 741 226,736 66,925 682,158 346,551
Visit Florida 724 80,729 627,259 12,277,888 8,027
Pure Michigan 716 125,845 693,530 4,238,467 124,397
Discover Los Angeles 703 80,338 1,133,951 1,529,635 40,501
Travel Oregon 701 43,376 288,002 4,402,381 32,793

Source: Skift IQ

Tourism Queensland demonstrates that it’s not just a numbers game. Although it doesn’t top a single category in terms of followers or likes, it’s consistent engagement with users across all four platforms puts it at the top of the Skift Score rankings.


The odd mix of tourism Australia, Walt Disney World, and the Interior Department have a wide lead over the other seven destinations. What unifies them all is their use of other Instagrammers’ images to increase their reach. It doesn’t hurt that each one has great, viral assets to work with: Australia’s scenery, Disney’s theme parks, and the U.S. National Park system aren’t exactly the hardest sell.


With videos, it’s Disney’s world and everyone else is just a distant second place and beyond. It has nearly ten times the views of its closest competitor, Australia. Of course, being owned by one of the world’s top film studios and having some of the top characters — from princess to talking cars — at your disposal doesn’t hurt.


Although Michigan and Alberta don’t top the Twitter follower list, their performance has lessons for destinations that may not be exactly the hottest ticket. Both engage with users faster than their sector’s average, and both have a replies to tweets ratio that demonstrates how they can use Twitter to speak with potential travelers rather than simply as another PR broadcast outlet.


Instead of talking about Disney and Australia again (yes, they’re winners), it’s interesting to highlight that the top destinations are rather conservative on Facebook in terms of volume of posts. Many are similar to Visit Florida, authoring two to three posts a day and sticking to photos most of the time.

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Tags: DMO, tourism
Photo Credit: Tourism Oregon's most-liked photo on Instagram is from September of this year. Tourism Oregon / Instagram