That was 2020...
The past year for LFT was dominated by the pandemic and its effects. But 2020 was also the year of new perspectives for us: for our destination, for our communication and ultimately for our visitors. Our new brand book shows the new brand world of Visit Luxembourg and focuses on more 'drive' for the tourist destination.
2020 was also the year of Luci: a new destination magazine was launched as a very concrete product of Visit Luxembourg's new brand and communication strategy. Despite the given restrictions, we were very close to people, their stories, experiences and places.
We were also close to our tourism partners, to customers and their needs. We have provided useful information through numerous updates about the changing market. We have offered glimpses into an uncertain future, but one thing is certain: it will be digital. We set the course in 2020 for the digitalisation of tourism communication.
Our work also became more agile, more flexible and ultimately redefined in parts. The year 2020 will go down as a disruptive one in LFT history, but not without merits.
Dr. Sebastian Reddeker
CEO — Luxembourg for Tourism
LFT provided the creative and operational support for the “Lëtzebuerg, dat ass Vakanz” campaign, which targeted the national and Greater Region markets. It highlighted the country as being diverse, attractive and safe, as well as the advantages of staying local. Campaigns for China, USA, Singapore, Dubai and Tokyo were put on hold.
Market research activities were intensified, helping to monitor future travel intentions. Fifteen reports were published, of which nine covered accommodation and the MICE sector. There were also surveys of the local population, international visitors, reputation, branding, and the post-Covid recovery strategy.
These reports demonstrated a strong desire to resume travel to the Grand Duchy, particularly among key target market segments: Explorers, Nature-Loving Actives, Short-Breakers and Perfection Seekers.
Communication strategy varied with the level of confinement. The focus was on inspiration during lockdown, with travel packages offered during easing of restrictions.
The domestic market
Intensified market research
Target groups 2020
Explorers seek authentic, unusual experiences, and wish to encounter new people and cultures. They accounted for around a quarter of visitors in 2019, and this potential is growing. Explorers are the most interested in visiting Luxembourg.
Additional target groups in 2020
Providing information and building trust
Exclusive and quality visual experiences
Well organised, risk-free options
Brand values during the pandemic
Strategic concepts and action plans had to be rethought and adapted in response to the pandemic, as consumption patterns and business approaches were impacted.
We focused on the development of the Visit Luxembourg brand, building on work started in 2019. Even more than in pre-Covid times, customer focus, trend awareness and value propositions became more relevant. Service offers had to adapt to the market, while remaining true to the core values of the Luxembourg brand.
In particular in 2020, LFT focused on the perception of the destination, the level of product and service offer, and communication and data management.
Monitoring Luxembourg’s appeal
Destination Luxembourg showed great resilience in 2020.
To help anticipate the changing appeal of Luxembourg as a travel destination post pandemic,
online activity was monitored.
Sentiment measurements were above benchmarks of neighbouring countries: 60 for Luxembourg compared to aggregate 26 for Belgium, Germany and France.
High perception of health safety, in terms of both the brand and the visitor experience.
High levels of online search interest. Luxembourg’s weekly average search growth outperformed that of the European benchmark by 37% during April to December.
Strong visitor experience scores on rating platforms.
Particularly strong ratings for brand-relevant features (outdoor, culture, niche themes) which reflects LFT’s value proposition, particularly for target segments such as Explorers.
Locals support luxembourg tourism
There is a high degree of recognition of Luxembourg as a destination by locals, and broad support for the destination. This was the outcome of a LFT/TNS Ilres Resident Survey 2020:
75% would recommend Luxembourg as a destination for a visit
59% are happy with the current number of tourists in Luxembourg
27% said they would be pleased to see higher numbers of tourists
76% support tourism in Luxembourg and would like it to remain an important industry and grow in importance
63% confirm that positive benefits of tourism outweigh its negative impacts
The principles of the Visit Luxembourg brand were established and described in our new brand book entitled
This situated the Grand Duchy in the national and international market context.
A corporate design manual offers practical advice on the form and design of communication within the Visit Luxembourg brand.
Luxembourg tourism brand
From "care" to "drive"
Luxembourg performs very well on the nation branding dimensions “open-minded” and “reliable” but less well on “dynamic”. According to data from an LFT Belgium brand study which tests for about thirty brand values: on average 66% of Belgians agree Luxembourg’s brand is “reliable”, 59% agree with it being “open-minded” and similar, with 44% agreeing with “dynamic” being a related value. These results are also mirrored by the perceptions of the actual guests through LFT's Visitor Survey. This graphic describes LFT’s ambition along the “Care/Drive” dimensions.
What does the Luxembourg tourism brand represent
Last year demonstrated that travel is both an imaginary and a physical experience.
Our market research has given us a clearer assessment of how this works in the Luxembourg context and potential scenarios. Research was extended and refined based on this work.
Luxembourg is not a second ranked destination
A holiday here is not taken out of necessity
It is a deliberate, welcome choice
A chance to get to know one’s home better
A chance to explore a unique country
Our strategy and communication priorities were aligned with trends that have been reinforced by the pandemic:
The opposite of mass tourism
Quality outdoor activities
Cultural experiences for individuals
Openness to the world
Unique, quality gastronomy
Luxembourg as destination can be expressed through six narratives:
Open and diverse – welcome to our home
Passion for the outdoors – escape the everyday
The good life – local encounters, sustainable experiences
Naturally Europe – cross the borders together
Daydreams – discovery and letting go
Transforming experiences – little details, big impact
LFT continued its work in these areas:
Early Travel Inspiration
Enabling transformative experiences
Bringing visitors and residents together
Encouraging cooperation in the tourism ecosystem
Enabling the best travel experience
A “seamless journey”
Quality and reliability
Communicating to target markets
To better address the target markets the following value propositions were integrated in a major way into the 2020 action plan:
Markets are “conversations”. With our communication we create value, reinforce networks, promote contextual knowledge, introduce digital transformation into the offer.
B2C print media remains a highly important, impactful communication vector, particularly when targeting an aspirational market.
We launched the magazine Luci - Inspiring Travel Stories from Luxembourg, produced in 170,000 copies (EN, FR, DE, LU) for an international and local audience of “Explorers”. The publication won 5 design awards: Red Dot Award, ICMA Silver Award, German Design Award, Muse Platinum Award, C2A Award.
We released the 100 things to do in Luxembourg pocket guide, which features the different possibilities linked to the LuxembourgCard travel pass (40,000 copies in four languages).
Broadcast and earned media are required to make brands come alive.
LFT had to deal with numerous travel restrictions and programme changes.
12 thematic press trips were planned and prepared, but cancelled altogether. As for the blog trips, 9 trips went ahead. As regards individual press trips, 53 participants were hosted in Luxembourg on 33 trips.
Furthermore, we worked with TV channels from neighbouring countries including TF1, ARTE, Sat.1.
We also participated in large-scale projects such as the creation of audiovisual material for the Expo 2021 Dubai.
Digital developments for new purposes
Three new websites were conceived, created and put online:
Luci.travel — the online version of the print magazine.
100thingstodo.lu — guides users to interesting things to do, linked to the hotel/accommodation voucher scheme used to promote the sector during lockdown.
Velosummer.lu — supports this event promoting cyclo-tourism.
Near 10% increase in traffic to www.visitluxembourg.com
Reworking of the back end of website to increase robustness and flexibility for the future.
Performance Overview 2020
Campaigns and Results:
In line with our content strategy but also by default, 2020 was the year of putting less is more into practice: we shared less but of a much higher quality and variety thanks to our own content (Luci, LDAV, 100things) complementing user-generated content – the perfect formula. Despite halting activities and many sectors within tourism suffering, we continued to inspire people to consider Luxembourg as their next destination.
On Instagram, we posted less yet performed well in all areas: audiences grew organically and engagement was very high (+7.73%). Total followers 49.13k (+55%), average reach 7.5m (+13%), impressions 11.65m (+22%), number of posts 92 (-37%).
The evolution in all areas on our Facebook was also positive: net new fans 61.63k (+50%), engagements 20.72k (+58%), impressions 108.05k (+50%), reach 38.93M (+297%).
17 major paid campaigns
2020 was a year of a flexible marketing campaigns by LFT. A step-by-step process, focusing on different regions and safety, for national and Greater Region markets.
Die Zeit (DE)
Cross-media Dusseldorf (live events + print + billboards) (DE)
Cross-channel action plan with Globetrotter/Wikinger Reisen (DE)
Cross-channel action plan with Hymer
Radio & influencer marketing (Greater Region DE)
SANOMA (NL) partnership
De Standaard / Le Soir (BE) partnerships
La Libre - DH - Paris Match (BE)
Le Parisien (FR)
Voyages SNCF (FR)
eDreams - Opodo - GO Voyages(FR) (with Luxair)
Social media ads
Real time bidding ads
Although highly limited by the pandemic, LFT continued with our B2B contact work. The focus was on “storytelling” with virtual events for foreign B2B contacts. We participated in seven of these online webinars and workshops.
Focus on 2021 was stepped up.
As part of its B2B communications, LFT launched the Perspectives newsletter in November 2020. It reports on LFTs work and dives into the trends and outlooks surrounding tourism in Luxembourg. Available in three languages (French, German and English) via online subscriptions.
LFT took part in some live B2C fairs including Foire Vakanz Luxembourg, CMT Stuttgart, Fiets & Wandelbeurs in Gent and Utrecht, Tour Natur Düsseldorf and Stuttgart Retro Classics.
A new digital task force was created, featuring representatives from LFT, Direction Générale du Tourism (Ministry of Economy) and regional tourism offices (ORT). This enabled the general coordination of digital activity as we look towards 2021.
2020 in figures