A South Australian family who post about their hunt for the best babycino in the nation are among the final contingent of 250 social media-using tourists arriving in Canberra on Friday as part of the Human Brochure project.
The project has also attracted the attention of other organisations including Tourism Australia which is sending its social media and advocacy manager Jesse Desjardins to Canberra this weekend to see how it works.
The visitors will start off their weekend with a function at the Australian War Memorial on Friday night and then explore Canberra according to their interests - food and wine, family fun, adventure or arts and culture.
A total of 500 individuals or families successfully applied for the free weekends in Canberra, paid for by Australian Capital Tourism or through in-kind support, with the first 250 enjoying their trips last October. The tourists have agreed to post, tweet and photograph their experience and let their verdict appear on the online brochure - humanbrochure.com.au
Australian Capital Tourism director Ian Hill said the October weekend generated 4339 tweets, 2762 Instagram photos and 1100 Facebook posts. The sentiment was ''92 per cent positive'' and the total audience reach was more than 4.2 million people. Twitter #HumanBrochure trended in the top 5 issues across Australia for much of the first weekend.
''They loved it and embraced it and they shared and they shared and they shared a bit more,'' he said.
Mr Hill said the tourists who weren't happy were upset with some details.
''It could be a slight delay at a check-in or it could be a customer service issue or somebody got something that they think they didn't get,'' he said. ''There was no one theme that came out of the 8 per cent.''
While other organisations might be attempting to replicate the Human Brochure, Mr Hill said it was unique. It also ''kept giving'' with people continuing to blog and post photos about the October weekend as late as last week.
''It's a totally open platform, so people can post what they like. I think other states have used social media, but often moderated, whereas we haven't,'' he said. ''We're backing the destination to tell a good story.''
The Adelaide family - mum, dad and two children aged seven and five - declined to have their names used but were excited to be part of the project. The parents both work in IT. She is a regular visitor to Canberra due to work but the family also have relatives here.
''Every single time we always find something new to explore,'' she said.
They post about their quest for the perfect babycino for their children on their Facebook page Babycinos Rock and at babycinosrock.blogspot.com. They've consumed more than 500 and photographed more than 200.
The mother said she thought it was a ''gutsy'' move by the tourism authorities to let the visitors post as they wanted about their Canberra trip. And plenty of her friends were envious of the family's trip to Canberra.
''There are jokes about any city - there are jokes about Adelaide - I find Canberra is held in good regard,'' she said.