The City of Chicago pioneered the notion that a city’s tourism office could turn Foursquare into a location-aware adventure guide for visitors and residents to unlock city history and culture. Today Pennsylvania — thanks to VisitPA, the state’s official tourism website — is taking the travel guide concept and applying it to an entire state.
VisitPA has partnered with Foursquare, and the marriage between the state and the mobile location-sharing game has produced three Pennsylvania badges — Shooflyer, Retail Polka and 4 Score &7. Each aims to inspire Foursquare users to take road trips, traverse the state, and uncover the best eateries, shopping spots or historical venues.
Of course, the state has also crafted a number of handy travel tips to help inform and enrich the experiences of Pennsylvania’s Foursquare explorers.
Users can now follow VisitPA on Foursquare to uncover tips like this one at National Mechanics in Old City Philly: “Welcome to the unofficial tech crowd hangout in Philly — hope you QR’d this checkin. Note the famous Philadelphians on their pint glasses: Edgar Allan Poe, Bill Cosby and even Mayor Nutter.”
As the tip suggests, this to-do is slightly unique when compared against most we’ve seen seeded inside Foursquare. It’s just one of a few VisitPA tips that prompt visitors to breakout their 2D barcode scanners apps to decode venue QR codes. Apparently there’s a tie-in with a Facebook promotion the tourism bureau will launch later this summer.
While Pennsylvania certainly took creative license from Chicago and the myriad of other Foursquare badge and content partners, we think the state has found a remarkable way to leverage social media to inspire tourism.
[img credit: littleli1985]