Oklahoma City received one of five U.S. city badges recently presented by Foursquare, a location-based social networking application for mobile devices that encourages users to “check in” at area attractions.
The coveted badge was the result of a grassroots nomination and promotion effort led by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.
Foursquare reported more than 15 million users worldwide as of January 2012 and has recorded over 1.5 billion check-ins, with millions more added daily.
“Our interactive team had the vision to use this social media contest to promote Oklahoma at no cost to a global audience,” said Deby Snodgrass, executive director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.
“As travelers rely more on their mobile devices to plan trips and choose attractions, this is exactly the exposure Oklahoma’s tourism industry needs to grow. A Foursquare badge for Oklahoma City will encourage people to explore the area and visit new attractions which results in more tourism revenue for our state. ”
Annual spending by travelers in Oklahoma in 2010 generated more than $6.2 billion for the state’s economy and supported almost 75,000 jobs.
Foursquare created the city badge contest to encourage travel to and within in the United States. Destinations and individuals were asked to create a list of the best places to visit in their city and enter it into the contest.
The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department’s interactive team selected a variety of attractions, lodging facilities and restaurants to be included on the “Oklahoma City’s Best” list.