Navigating Cambridge: The Impact of Virtual Tours on Destination Marketing

Cambridge, Massachusetts, known for its rich history and vibrant culture, has always been a popular destination for travelers. The Cambridge Office for Tourism partnered with Threshold 360 in 2022 to utilize virtual tours to enhance their marketing efforts. In this edition of #StepInside, we learn from Kaleigh Wright and Caroline He from Cambridge Office for Tourism on how they have integrated virtual tours from Threshold 360 into their marketing strategy and the impact it has had on their destination marketing.

1. The Initial Intent for Tours

When we began exploring virtual tour solutions, our primary goal was to find a unique way to promote their partners on their website. We aimed to provide potential visitors with a better understanding of what Cambridge had to offer while planning their trips. The organization was particularly drawn to the maps feature provided by Threshold 360, which was included within the standard subscription. They represent 24 hotel partners in Cambridge, in addition to supporting various other tourism-related businesses in the city, such as restaurants, museums, and retailers.

Cambridge Office for Tourism initially utilized Threshold 360 virtual tours as a way to enhance their hotel listing pages.

2. Integration into Marketing Efforts

We have integrated Threshold 360 custom maps into our marketing efforts. We’ve used the maps to enhance our Instagram story during events like Dine Out Boston, showcasing all participating restaurants in Cambridge. The map serves as a user-friendly tool for our audience to discover nearby dining options. We’ve also incorporated Threshold 360 maps into our blog posts and newsletters. When featuring places to visit in Cambridge, we place an interactive Threshold map at the top of our blog post. The maps are designed with different graphics and color pins to represent various neighborhoods and activities, making them visually appealing and easy for viewers to understand. We’ve even incorporated these maps into our Instagram and Facebook stories.


Cambridge has incorporated the Threshold 360 Custom Maps on their Instagram and Facebook stories

We have seen a boost in engagement with marketing materials that include virtual tours and maps. One of our top-performing blogs, “One Day in Cambridge,” featuring an integrated interactive Threshold map, received 143 visits attributed to social media efforts in Q4. The actual number of visitors is likely even higher. Additionally, a recent blog about fall foliage in Cambridge with an integrated map garnered 205 visits through their tracking link.

3. Value Provided to Partners

The incorporation of virtual tours has enhanced the value that we provide our partners. These tours are offered to our hotel partners at no cost, allowing them to easily share and add them to their websites. The quick turnaround for receiving finalized tours after filming was also a significant advantage, especially during the pandemic when hotels were in recovery mode.

4. Future Marketing Campaigns and Initiatives

We have exciting plans for the future. We are currently working on our first set of AdTours, which will allow us to incorporate our virtual tours into our upcoming Expedia Ad campaigns showcasing the beauty and attractions of Cambridge.