Zuid-Limburg attracts tourists and boosts entrepreneurs through UGC

VVV Zuid-Limburg saw an 8% click-through rate on their email newsletters by featuring content generated by the residents and visitors of their region with Flowbox.

The Story

Come visit Zuid-Limburg in the Netherlands. And while you’re there, share your best photos on Instagram to become a part of the proud local community. This is how the tourist board in the region created a win-win situation for both residents and entrepreneurs by using UGC in a smart way.

Small is beautiful, especially if you’re in Zuid-Limburg, the southern-most region of the Netherlands. This region, bordering on Germany and Belgium, is a real treasure for visitors and offers both historic sights and picturesque nature for cycling or walking.


At the local tourist board, VVV Zuid-Limburg, guests can find valuable information about the area regarding everything from restaurants and hotels to activities, events and various kinds of routes. For the marketing team, finding engaging photos on Instagram and other social networks wasn’t a problem. The challenge was how to make use of them in an effective way and to build a stronger community.

“We saw that there were a lot of great photos in social media and that they were becoming better and greater in number. But we didn’t know how to make the connection between the brand Zuid-Limburg and VVV Zuid-Limburg as an organization with our hashtag.”

Babette Vanom – Marketing Project Coordinator at VVV Zuid-Limburg

With frequent algorithm changes on Facebook and Instagram and declining reach, Babette Vanom and her colleagues in the marketing team knew they had to do something differently.


With Flowbox, VVV Zuid-Limburg got the technical platform to collect user-generated photos in an effective way. Previously, managing the content in social media manually had been very time-consuming. By using a tool like Flowbox, the marketing team was able to improve its workflow and save hours of work.

Residents and tourists are encouraged to use the hashtag #visitzuidlimburg to share their images and the best ones are selected to be reposted on the main website.

“When we first started using the platform, we had no expectations. We didn’t even know it was possible to integrate content on our site with a tool like this.”

Babette Vanom – Marketing Project Coordinator at VVV Zuid-Limburg


Last summer, VVV Zuid-Limburg launched Flowbox during the Pinkpop Festival, a popular three-day music festival held every year in the municipality of Landgraaf. The festival visitors were invited to share their best Pinkpop moments using the hashtag #limburglonkt. The photos were then published on the site limburglonkt.nl/pinkpop. As many as 320 photos were collected in only 3 days.

After integrating Flowbox in the newsletters, the team has also seen an increase in clicks. About 8% of the people who open the newsletters click on the Flowbox element. Thanks to the implementation of Flowbox, the marketing team at VVV Zuid-Limburg have also been able to reduce the number of stock images significantly and can now instead fill the website and newsletters with authentic photos, which leads to higher engagement.

“Our goal is to activate residents as well as tourists and encourage them to share their stories. It’s a lot more credible when other people tell the Zuid-Limburg story instead of us. For the visitors, it’s a pleasure to be involved and they feel more connected.”

Babette Vanom – Marketing Project Coordinator at VVV Zuid-Limburg

It’s not just visitors who get higher value from the new UGC strategy. The VVV Zuid-Limburg website has about 2 million visitors per year which is highly attractive for the numerous entrepreneurs, restaurants, hotels and other businesses in the area.

“They want to benefit from the traffic we get to our website, so we’ve seen that they use #visitzuidlimburg more frequently to get a free spot on our site. If the content they share or the engagement of the content is good enough, they get a call to action button which leads to their website. This increases the engagement for everyone involved, it’s a win-win!”

Babette Vanom – Marketing Project Coordinator at VVV Zuid-Limburg