Two of the best travel PR stunts of the year so far - Sally Durcan, Hotcow

How do travel PR stunts help travel companies sell vacations? With the evenings getting lighter and the trees blossoming, it’s safe to say that spring is definitely in the air, which means that summer is just around the corner. And summer means holidays!

As travel companies gear up for the holiday season, there is a lot of competition to grab consumer’s attention – and many brands have turned to wacky PR stunts to promote their deals.

With this in mind, let’s look at two of the best travel PR stunts of the year so far:

1.    Irish Board of Tourism

The Irish board of Tourism was busy in the lead up to St Patrick’s Day this year, turning 160 of the world’s most famous landmarks a bright shade of green.

From the Coliseum in Rome to the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro; a host of iconic sites went ‘green’ on 17th March, as part of a “Greenification of the World” campaign.

The aim of the global PR stunt was to bring nations together to celebrate the fun and warmth of the Irish.

The stunt reached as far and wide as China, Dubai and the White House – where the water fountains in front of the building spurted green water for the day.

For Ireland itself, a 60-second promotional video was created and narrated by Irish actor Liam Neeson. The film included stunning footage of Ireland, interwoven with images from the Global Greening initiative. In the video, Liam Neeson put out a call out to anyone with an interest in Ireland to #GoGreen4PatricksDay – by sharing the film and booking a trip to Ireland to experience all it has to offer.

Meanwhile Virgin Holidays took a different tactic to get consumers in the holiday mood. The travel brand teamed up with hypnotist Paul McKenna to run a ‘Holiday Hypnosis’ service for hungover shoppers, to give them the feel of a two-week holiday in 20 minutes.

McKenna delivered the bespoke one-on-one sessions in a ‘hypno–pod’ at the House of Fraser, Bluewater, where he stimulated the feeling a person gets when the brain releases endorphins, which are the natural feel-good hormones associated with a holiday.

The experience could not have come at a better time for the British public. Nothing beats the feeling of an amazing holiday, and this PR stunt ensured that they got to experience the feel-good holiday factor in the dark depths of January, before enjoying the real thing later in the year.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on