Malmö Tourism launches flight free influencer program

Like many other cities, Malmö is keen to attract big name social media influencers who can showcase the city to the world and attract visitors. But in 2020, Malmö Tourism is introducing a new way to work with influencer marketing with a completely flight free program. The city is hoping to contribute to the growing trend of sustainable tourism and slow travel, where the journey itself becomes part of the experience.

The Make it Malmö program is run by Malmö Tourism, which is part of the City of Malmö. It extends invitations to social media influencers and sponsors their trips and stays in Malmö in exchange for visibility for the city on social media platforms like Instagram and Youtube. But unlike many similar influencer marketing programs Make it Malmö lets its influential guests roam free, offering tips and ideas rather than set itineraries. Many influencers have fallen in love with the small but energetic city, and with the freedom to explore it on their own terms. “We cannot get enough of this city” and “so much energy” were some of the rave reviews posted in 2019.

In 2020, Malmö Tourism is hoping to continue the success of their influencer marketing program, while at the same time challenging the way influencer- and press trips are traditionally done. About 70 % of visiting influencers came to Malmö by plane in 2019, but in 2020 that number will be 0. Instead, influencers will be offered trips using other means of transportation.

-We realise, of course, that we are not going to change the travel industry overnight, says Anna Wittgren at Malmö Tourism. But we think it’s important to start somewhere. Make it Malmö has been a great success for us, with social media posts generated by the program reaching more than 6,2 million people last year, at a relatively low price compared to traditional marketing. So, we want to see if we can continue that success but also make the program more sustainable. We are zooming in on influencers who already have a focus on sustainability as part of their personal brand.

Partnerships with bus and ferry operators

In order to be able to offer influencers flight free trips, Malmö Tourism has teamed up with European express bus operating company Flixbus, and with shipping companies Stena Line, TT-Line, Finnlines and Unity Line. Contrary to popular belief, travelling long distance by bus can be a climate friendly option. Buses emit only a tenth of the co2 per person and kilometre compared to planes, and since most trains in continental Europe still run on either diesel fuel or electricity produced by burning gas or coal, a bus trip is often better for the environment. For influencers travelling to Malmö by sea as well as land, emissions can be cut even further as ferries reduce co2 emissions by transporting freight and other vehicles, that would otherwise have been on the roads, thereby contributing to a lower co2 emission per traveller.
Influencers taking the slow route to Malmö in 2020 will be asked to document their journey – as well as the destination – using hashtags such as #slowtravel and #makeitmalmo.

For more information contact Anna Wittgren, Head of Marketing & Analysis, ph: +46(0)709-342209, e-mail: anna.wittgren@malmo.se

Visit the Malmö Tourism press room