Rediscover InterContinental ICons to know what makes a city truly fascinating

08:13 | 20/12/2019
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest luxury hotel brand, today launches InterContinental ICons, offering travellers a fresh look at some of the world’s most exhilarating cities and inviting the public to take part in a global conversation on what makes them truly iconic.
rediscover intercontinental icons to know what makes a city truly fascinating
London St Dunstan Church

Wading through a sea of sameness

The brand’s independent study carried out in New York, London, Paris, Shanghai, Dubai, Sydney, and Mexico City reveals that travellers often feel they only scratch the surface of a city. More than three-quarters (77 per cent) say they feel obliged to see the most popular tourist sites, despite 75 per cent expressing a desire to see more of what the city has to offer and to explore like a well-informed local.

Additional analysis of Instagram posts reveals that the Eiffel Tower in Paris is the most posted tourist site, representing 10 per cent of all posts worldwide. Buckingham Palace is the most-tagged site in London (21 per cent) and Central Park is the most-tagged in New York City (20 per cent), highlighting that tourists are often focused on visiting the same “must-see” sites.

These findings were confirmed by locals in each of the seven cities, with more than half (59 per cent) feeling that tourists miss out on the best their city has to offer.

rediscover intercontinental icons to know what makes a city truly fascinating
Dubai scent of spices - for SEO InterContinental

Discovering the true city

InterContinental’s new campaign aims to inspire by rediscovering what makes each city truly fascinating. An online vote asks the public to select the most symbolic sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and feelings in these cities, that will connect travellers more deeply when they visit.

Some of the multi-sensorial experiences identified by luxury travellers around the world include:

  • Paris - The scent of oven-fresh bread on the boulangeries of Oberkampf, Paris 11e
  • London - The warmth from a roaring fire in an old London pub on a chilly day
  • New York - Smell of roasting chestnuts from a vendor cart on Broadway
  • Shanghai - The warm aroma of Xiaolongbao at the Temple of the City Gods
  • Dubai - Sound of water lapping an abra (traditional wooden boat) as it glides along Dubai Creek
  • Sydney - The feel of the cool breeze on your face on the Manly to Circular Quay ferry
  • Mexico City – The sounds of Mariachi music in Garibaldi plaza

“As a pioneer in luxury travel, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has always been the gateway to fascinating places and local cultural wisdom, so we understand that travellers are craving a deeper connection to the places they visit," Ginger Taggart, vice president, global marketing, IHG Luxury Portfolio, commented.

"With our latest campaign, InterContinental ICons, we have set out to discover and celebrate authentic places and moments that might be overlooked by visitors but are truly part of what makes a city special. Whether it’s the feel of salt air while riding New York’s Hudson River ferry, the melodious bells of the clock tower on the Bund in Shanghai, or the feel of cobblestones underfoot on old Parisian streets, these ICons might include under-the-radar experiences or well-known tourist hotspots viewed in new and unexpected ways. We want to reignite a sense of fascination for these much-visited cities and encourage discussion around what makes them truly iconic.”

rediscover intercontinental icons to know what makes a city truly fascinating
Dubai old souq

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has pioneered luxury travel for more than 70 years and now has 208 hotels in 66 countries worldwide. With this heritage and insight, the brand understands that modern luxury travellers are looking for a deeper connection with the iconic places they travel to.

Through social media analysis, the insights of key opinion leaders and independent research, InterContinental has established a long-list of multi-sensory experiences that are representative of each city. Beginning today, InterContinental invites the public to select the experiences they truly feel demonstrate the city or cities they know best at and engage in a conversation across social media using the hashtag #intercontinentalicons.

Voting closes on December 31, 2019. A global panel of judges, featuring acclaimed National Geographic Photographer Charlie Hamilton James, @WallStreetPaper, and Harlem Capital’s Brandon Bryant, as well as several well-travelled members of the InterContinental Ambassador loyalty programme will lend their expertise to curating the top five InterContinental ICons in each city, with the final reveal and celebration in early 2020.

By Nguyen Huong

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