Innovation That Matters

In Brussels, locals talk to visiting tourists via public phones

Travel & Tourism installed phones and live webcams in Brussels that enabled tourists to call locals, boosting tourism after recent terror alerts.

After a significant drop in tourism following the citywide lockdown — which occurred after the Paris attacks — launched a project to let locals talk to travelers, and explain in real-time the safe, beautiful scenes in their city, contrary to international reportage.

The #callbrussels project ran from January 7-11., in collaboration with brand agency Air, installed phones at various popular tourist destinations around the city, with live webcams capturing the surroundings. Users wanting to visit the city could go on the website, choose a destination, and make the call over the internet. Any locals present were then able to answer the phones and discuss what was happening in the city. The results have been turned into an advertising campaign aiming to show that the city is a safe and fun tourist destination.

We’ve already seen the city of Hiroshima launch a cat’s eye view to encourage tourism and counter negative international reportage. How else can cities improve their worldwide image?



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