In the mood for a trip down under? Queensland, Australia is the newest group to partner with foursquare to promote tourism. They’ve even added a special Shine Seeker foursquare badge for visitors who follow their profile and check in at five of the recommended spots.
Users who unlock the badge will be entered to win one of two vacation packages in Cairns, courtesy of Blue Holidays, the travel arm of Virgin Blue airline. Virgin Blue is offering a $50 discount on airfare to Queensland during the contest, which runs through December 31.
The tips cover the entire state, from Brisbane and the Great Barrier Reef on the coast to the heart of the Australian Outback. They feature many of the highlights that visitors should check out, like this tip at Mackay Marina:
For the best fish and chips in Mackay, head to the Lighthouse Seafood Restaurant – dine in, or better yet get takeaway and sit out on the grass overlooking the Marina.
Queensland is considered a leader in social networking among tourism groups. You may recall their “Best Job in the World” campaign that began last January to find a caretaker for the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. The job paid a $150,000 salary for six months and provided luxury accommodations for the winner. They received more than 34,000 application videos from all over the world.
This is one of only a few foursquare badges that’s only unlockable outside the US and Canada. It joins tourism badges from Explore Chicago and VisitPA.
Badges like this for tourism groups could offer a natural and lucrative source of revenue for foursquare. Who wouldn’t want to unlock a special badge to commemorate each country or region they visit? The badges also garner additional exposure for the region as they often get posted to Facebook and Twitter. These groups are also a great source of content for foursquare tips, since they’re curated by local experts.
What do you think of local tourist badges like this?