Falling in love with the world

BBC Travel and BBC StoryWorks tap into the heart of the motivations of the new traveller

Nicola Eliot, Director, BBC StoryWorks APAC, BBC Global News will be speaking at the Presentation Hub today, addressing the transformation in the reasons people travel. We asked her to tell us more about her work.

BBC Travel and BBC StoryWorks look to tap into the heart of the motivations of the new traveller, to move past lists and itineraries into creating truly memorable moments and experiences that will shape the way they feel about the world. In our presentation at ITB Asia, we will share with you our insight into how we talk to our audiences, and how we seek to make them fall in love with the world through our stories by amazing them, immersing them, and inspiring them to connect into their next travel adventure.

Can you explain the theme of your presentation, “Fall in love with the world”? Every day, the world gets a little smaller, making it easier and easier for all kinds of people to travel. The reasons people travel, the way people travel and the people that travel have changed out of all recognition. These factors will all continue to evolve in line with the world around us, and the way we market to this audience must evolve with them or risk being left behind.

We no longer need someone to tell us the top 10 places to visit, and we don’t want to go where everyone else is going. We are spending more on travelling when our busy schedules allow, and even booking on the spur of the moment, with mobile travel- related searches for “tonight” and “today” growing over 150% over the past two years, according to data from Google.

How is adventure tourism evolving?
Even our definition of adventure is changing, with risky adrenaline activities being favoured half as much as “experiencing a new culture”, according to a recent study by the Adventure Travel Trade Association and our concept of a holiday destination is changing along with it. The Middle East is the fastest-growing travel region in the world, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Travel Barometer, and as social media brings remote destinations and unique cultures into view, tourist numbers are growing in places like Ethiopia, Bhutan, Paraguay and Kazakhstan – which recently gained both a Hyatt and a Hilton.

To be able to capture attention in this new diverse travel landscape requires so much more than just the facts or the ‘to do list’ of a destination; it requires a story that will amaze, connect, inspire and immerse people in a truly unique and personal experience.


At BBC StoryWorks, we work closely with BBC Travel throughout the year and are continually moved by their mission to inspire BBC audiences to fall in love with the world by telling them about places they’ve never been and showing them a new side to places they think they know. It’s time to take advantage of he myriad opportunities for travel marketing out there and this means a completely new approach for many. BBC Travel has drastically changed its approach since April 2017 and as a result the site has grown 30% overall in terms of traffic (unique browsers and page views) and now has an average dwell time of 13 minutes and 18 seconds so we know that this advice works. Telling a story works and it will draw people to your page and make them stay.

How do you advise others to tell this story?
My advice is to go beyond the beaten path and try to tell stories with unexpected angles, try to make a connection to cultures around the world. Then try to focus your storytelling on just one or two leading characters and create a narrative in which their perspectives paint the most vivid picture of the place they call home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: Presentation Hub

Photo: Nicola Eliot Director –  BBC StoryWorks APAC, BBC Global News