Creative Tourism Campaigns for 2024: Disconnect, Reconnect!

The year 2024 kicked off with some creative tourism campaigns, in Portugal, Austria, Kentucky, and Iceland; AI image by Ivan Kralj / DALL-E.

In 2023, we’ve seen some impressive travel marketing campaign fiascos (does “Open to Meraviglia” ring a fail bell?). There’s no greater sin in the life of a marketing professional than flushing millions of dollars down the toilet. Luckily, the tourism campaigns that opened the 2024 turned out less crappy, and more creative. They’re promising a year with more shine than shame. In the dark abyss of travel mishaps, could these brighten up the faces of tourists, as potentially the best tourism campaigns of 2024?

Tourism boards of today are flexing their creativity muscles, engaging everyone from horses to ski instructors, to reach potential tourists

Besides just promoting their destinations, the freshest series of travel campaigns seems to have another mission – to make us reflect on the world we live in, as well as the world we’d like to live in. They open the topics of sustainability and awareness, in an environment that’s become excessively occupied with technologies.

Forget the mundane brochures; the tourism boards of today are flexing their creativity muscles, engaging everyone from horses to ski instructors, to reach potential tourists, wherever they’re coming from. They could be complete aliens, some promotors say, so why not make the campaigns out-of-this-world as well?

There’s a galaxy of potential tourists out there, and these creative tourism campaigns seem to have the necessary fuel to reach them.

Some tourist destinations share similar names which can lead to confused travelers. Marketing bodies, such as Visit Sweden with the "Sweden, Not Switzerland" campaign, are still able to turn these circumstances into an advantage. 

The best tourism campaigns kicking off 2024

1. Portugal – Futourism

Picture 12 New Year’s resolutions that don’t involve gym memberships or pretending to enjoy kale smoothies but instead pledge to revolutionize the way we travel.

In its new tourism campaign, dropped on New Year’s Eve, Visit Portugal is not just asking you to visit; they want you to commit. Instead of virtual experiences, Futourism wants you to have real connections. Get off your screen, ditch selfies, feel it, and take your garbage with you. Forget the cookie-cutter itineraries; think unique, think local, think green.


The world is obsessed with trends, and Portugal is just setting them. Teaming up with the Agency Dentsu Creative Portugal, they decided not to sell you on concrete sights, but on the art of seeing things concretely. Something today’s tourist often forgets.

In 2023, Portugal rocked the charts with record-breaking guests, overnight stays, and revenue. But now they want to sustain the growth. They want to spread tourism beyond the usual hotspots and predictable seasons.

Futourism is also a global invitation. It’s not just a campaign. It’s a movement.

2. Austria – Chat SkiPT

In the race of artificial intelligence taking over, Austria doesn’t ski the crowd – it pioneers. The Austrian National Tourist Office introduced the world to “authentic intelligence” with its Chat SkiPT campaign.

From January 17 to January 20, in the narrow window of 5 to 9 p.m., real Austrian ski instructors take the stage to answer all burning questions about winter holidays and beyond. While AI chatbots can provide tips, the project’s idea was to offer the wit and charm of an Austrian ski instructor, without the middleman. This tourism campaign plays on the fact that authentic and personal contacts can hardly be replaced by machines.


I visited the website, and Frits, the real-life slope expert, was immediately available. He said they’re receiving more chat requests than they expected, but that the 15 ski instructors are handling it well. People mostly ask about the best apré-ski spot, family-friendly slopes, or even booking skiing lessons, he told me. The most unusual question he received? “Well, we had one who had a broken wrist asking if he could go snowboarding in February 😂”, Frits wrote.

Crafted by Wien Nord Serviceplan agency, Chat SkiPT is not just a fun diversion. It’s a strategic move to boost winter tourism in Austria whose skiers, snowboarders, and other winter sport-loving guests churned out 12.6 billion euros in the 2022/2023 season. With this short-term project, Austria hopped on a wave of modern and effective communication, a simple innovation with a dash of Alpine wit.

Screenshot of a chat with an Austrian ski instructor Frits, through Chat SkiPT service, Austrian innovative tourism campaign enabled by "authentic intelligence".
For now, the application allows only sending texts. Who knows, maybe images will be enabled in Chat SkiPT-4?

3. Kentucky – Interstellar tourism

Lexington, Kentucky, famous as a capital of horses and bourbon, unleashed its creative prowess on a new frontier, where no one has gone before – interstellar tourism.

VisitLEX, the force behind Lexington’s tourism promotion, made a bold decision. Last October, they fired a high-powered laser 40 light years away toward the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, inviting aliens to swap their flying saucers for a cozy spot in the Bluegrass State.

The laser, launched from the Kentucky Horse Park‘s museum, carried an encoded message with a bitmap image of their iconic landscapes, symbols for elements of life, as well as molecules of water and ethanol (essential ingredients of bourbon), and even some music.


In this intergalactic sales pitch, VisitLEX touts Lexington’s friendliness, vibrant arts scene, and culinary delights as irresistible to alien palates. To celebrate the upcoming cosmic experience, they also organized a space-themed exhibition, as well as invited Earthlings to add their messages in a time capsule that aliens would open once they arrived.

That event might be decades away, but the imaginative tourism campaign has captured the home planet’s attention. Even if extraterrestrials don’t RSVP, Kentucky’s readiness to reach for the stars is giving their marketing a stellar boost.

Photographs, music, and bitmap images as part of the message for aliens in interstellar tourism marketing campaign for Lexington, Kentucky, created by VisitLEX.
Dear aliens, good luck with decoding!

4. Iceland – Out-horse your emails

Last but not least, we have an innovative tourism campaign that’s two years old, but it’s grabbing attention again these days. Rightfully so, because, as some nations say, you don’t swap a winning horse midstream.

Iceland, the land of glaciers and the Northern Lights, wants you to take a break from work without sacrificing professional dignity. Visit Iceland launched a novel solution – outsourcing your emails to trained Icelandic horses.

In this refreshingly comical tourism campaign, they’ve swapped keyboards for hoofboards, creating a gig for three four-legged professionals: Hrímnir, Hekla, and Litla. While they clatter hooves on an oversized custom keyboard, the narrator convinces us that horses can handle our mailbox overflow by sending out-of-office replies, while we enjoy the wonders of Iceland. “They are trained in corporate buzzwords. Your boss will never know the difference”, the ad claims.


Iceland’s tourism campaign is a witty way of telling us to ditch the work stress and soak in soothing hot springs without worries. Because the only thing more absurd than a horse responding to emails with hoof-generated gibberish is you checking work emails during your well-deserved break.

When it comes to innovative travel marketing, Iceland is galloping ahead in its own league. Other tourism boards should pay attention.

Making lighthearted PR campaigns is sometimes the quickest path to the message receiver. Even organizations dealing with very serious topics can successfully use humor as a marketing strategy.

2024 creative tourism campaigns – conclusion

We live in a world where hardly anything can surprise us. Marketing professionals are therefore under constant pressure to up their game. Tourism campaigns need not only to break the mold, but juggle its pieces, or even toss them into space.

Creative tourism campaigns are not just about destinations, but also about creating experiences that defy the ordinary

It’s clear that 2024 has rewritten the rules on how to captivate globetrotters. From Portugal’s futouristic resolutions to Kentucky’s invitation to interstellar horse riders, these campaigns are not just about destinations. They’re about creating experiences and messages that defy the ordinary.

Whether it’s ski instructors or horses hitting the keyboard, or they’re packing touristic messages in laser beams, these tourism boards have cracked the code; innovation and humor are the golden tickets to a traveler’s mind.

They’re also subtly reminding us of the importance of making our experiences real, in a world that offers countless ways for alienation.

So plan your future vacations with that in mind. Stay present, stay conscious. The way we travel will not be able to remain the same.

Do you like these innovative and creative tourism campaigns? What are your favorites?
Comment below, and pin this article for later!

From horses to ski instructors, there's hardly anyone tourism marketing professionals haven't tried to put behind the keyboards. In 2024, it's all about connecting us with humanity, but potentially also aliens. These are this year's best creative tourism campaigns!

Ivan Kralj


Award-winning journalist and editor from Croatia

  1. Great article and one all bloggers should get their hands on! On a personal note, I think Iceland always has fun and interesting campaigns. Love to see how funky some of the other campaigns are that you found.

    1. Thanks a ton for the kind words, Alexa! I’m glad you enjoyed the article.
      Iceland does indeed have a knack for turning tourism campaigns into captivating adventures.
      Then again, I feel it’s a country that hardly needs promotion. I’d go without seeing any ad 🙂

  2. I enjoyed reading about these unusual campaigns. Have you seen the Pure Michigan campaigns with Tim Allen’s voice. While not strange, I always believed they were stand out and have been well-known for years. Proud of my home state!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Amy!
      No, I must say I didn’t hear about Pure Michigan campaigns before, but now you intrigued me, and I ended up in a rabbit hole of “Not So Pure Michigan” spoof campaigns.
      I assume they have nothing to do with the funder of the original ads narrated by Tim Allen, but I don’t see them damaging the destination’s reputation either.
      If nothing else, it goes to prove that humor is an asset that can draw attention in many different ways!

  3. These videos are fun to watch and they are very entertaining, useful, and educational. I believe that many places like Lexington, Kentucky need creative and smart advertising. Other popular places, like Sedona, Arizona became so expensive, with advertising or not, that they became unaffordable for many tourists, even off season. Prices rose 5-7 times compared to what it was a few years ago. Advertising campaigns benefit businesses, such as hotels and airlines, but not tourists.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Natalia!
      Creative and smart tourism campaigns can indeed make exploring new places even more exciting. But they’ll never be able to comfort a guest disappointed by the disproportion between the value and the cost.

  4. You’ve found some creative tourism marketing for sure! I love the use of humor in the case of Iceland, the unique problem-solving of Austria, and the aspirations of Portugal. They’ve figured out how to make their message memorable and shareable.

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed the tour of these creative tourism campaigns, Darla!
      My standout promotion is still Iceland’s one, with horses. It leaves a truly lasting impression.
      And judging by our attachment to technologies, that promo may remain evergreen!

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