Skift Take

Smaller destinations snuck into the top ten this month with a mix of clever campaigns and seasonal highlights.

It wasn’t the changing of the seasons that drove all the growth for destinations on social media this month: Destinations that showed a diverse selection of things to see and do drove higher the average Skift Score of the top tourism boards.

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 are calculated using our Skift Score, which takes into account social media performance on an absolute basis, as well as relative to within a company’s specific industry. It compares metrics across platforms and provides an intelligent measure of competitive edge.

Name Skift Score Twitter Follows Facebook Likes Youtube Video Views Instagram Followers
Tourism Australia 811 171,782 6,190,906 19,476,118 938,709
Walt Disney World Resorts 811 869,203 14,904,879 177,127,911 701,457
Tourism and Events Queensland 790 72,336 1,166,214 2,781,298 102,835
Visit Philly 774 83,575 421,907 686,453 24,397
visit brussels 740 11,867 99,452 893,117 5,059
Pure Michigan 740 132,463 702,451 4,325,414 135,761
U.S. Department of the Interior 739 237,689 71,137 709,283 364,489
Travel Alberta 737 129,186 223,204 6,591,732 92,261
Visit Florida 732 82,775 629,223 12,591,120 8,870
Visit Savannah 709 32,940 152,615 331,680 11,666

Source: SkiftIQ

Tourism Australia took first place overall this month. Travel Alberta dropped down four places to eighth place, and was replaced by Visit Philly. It’s iteresting to note that Travel Oregon and Discover Los Angeles were knocked out of the top ten by the smaller visit brussels and Visit Savannah. The Skift Score for this bunch close the month with an average of 758, 8.5 points higher than we saw in September.


Disney took advantage of Halloween and the activities it hosts at its parks to improve on its overall engagement on social media, which bumped it up from third to second place. Visit brussels took a popular Instagram photo of a balmy autumn late afternoon in a park and used it to drive sharing on Facebook. Also, it posted about the Discover Europe attraction and inspired its Facebook community to comment about their experiences with selfies at miniatures of notable landmarks on the continent.


Destinations were rather lackluster this month on Twitter. Visit Philly was the only one that showed notable activity in October in terms of status updates. The conversations were mostly about wishing users a great trip and a few welcomes and offering visit tips.


Photography that featured nature resonated well with audiences in October.

Pure Michigan and Explore Alberta presented their regions’ autumnal landscapes with user-generated content from their Instagram followers as well as collaborations with professional photographers/Instagram influencers.

Tourism and Events Queensland’s imagery that hinted at warm weather and the impending summer did well, while Tourism Australia’s Instagram account was filled with regional wildlife. These images were bookended by turquoise waters and sunsets.


Four tourism boards cranked out videos and reported higher views. Visit Savannah published 25 videos on YouTube in October — nearly quadrupling its monthly production rate — beating Visit Florida’s 24 videos per month average. Most of the videos promoted Savannah’s Festival of Lights and the winter holiday season, a month ahead of schedule. Visit Florida’s videos featured local cuisine, fishing and waterways, and contemporary art.

Tourism Australia posted three videos that showed how it plays host to adventurers, football, and tennis fans. The US Interior’s periodic program that covers weekly legislation and government officials who influence national park administration and programs gained momentum this month, specifically on videos that featured President Obama and the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act.

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Tags: destinations, disney parks, pure michigan, skiftiq, social media, tourism australia, tourism boards, travel alberta, visit florida, visit philly

Photo credit: Grampians National Park in Victoria, Australia. Tourism Australia / YouTube

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