Transilvania Train: o altfel de experiență turistică
Choo-Choo! Transilvania Train, a landlocked cruise in the heart of Ardeal, ended on September 3rd, right where it started – with fanfare music, in the Brașov train station, after four days of journey. The train [started from the Brașov train station on August 31st, and] made its way down a line that included medieval towns such as Sighișoara, Mediaș, Alba-Iulia, Sebeș, Sibiu and Făgăraș.
The first edition integrated a series of unique experiences, from workshops on traditional shingling, medieval architecture or wine tastings to rare cultural events: the Sibiu Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert, and the Sebeș Church organ concert.
When we learned of this project, the challenge was immense, and the solutions hard to find. First, we had to contend with the Romanian public’s notion regarding the price of the journey, considered to be similar to the cost of a trip abroad and too expensive for a Romanian initiative.
Understanding the project’s strong suit, its flow and challenges, we sprang into action. • The first step was to elaborate campaign messages meant to highlight Transilvania Train, the first adventure of its kind in Romania. • The second stage meant identifying the relevant target audience, one that would be attracted to the Transilvania Train experience, by testing diverse communities and gauging the impact on them. • Once all these were established, the communication plan aimed to increase visibility and to attract more participants to the project, both equally important to this first edition of Transilvania Train.
After launching the official Facebook page, we could immediately observe the public’s reactions – which, initially, were contradictory. Some were enthusiastic about the concept and the support for Romanian culture and traditions, others were skeptical about the partnership with CFR, but, through constant, direct and honest communication, the conversation gradually evolved in the project’s favour.
Once the website was launched and the Transilvania Train community grew, mass-media’s interest also began to grow. The best-known online and print publications, bloggers, radio and TV channels noticed the project and agreed to communicate it and meet the founders for interviews. Some communication partners organized contests for their communities, offering Transilvania Train invitations, and local communication and mass-media partners in Transylvanian towns also supported the project throughout the campaign’s duration.
”Reactions to the initiative were most diverse, but, since there was a public sharing our enthusiasm for the project, we decided to bank on it. Thus, through perseverance, argued answers and close co-operation with the founding team, we managed over months of work to change pre-conceived notions and win the public’s trust”, says Magda Topolică, Sr. Account Manager, The Good Company.
”Prima ediție Transilvania Train 2017 a fost un proiect pilot prin care am dorit să testăm, în primul rând, modul în care acest concept va fi primit de public, dar și gradul de maturitate al pieței și interesul pentru experiențele turistice tradiționale complexe. Proiectul a fost un test și pentru noi, fondatorii: astfel ne-am putut da seama de modul în care putem lucra și funcționa ca echipă. Cu excepția unor mici ajustări ce vor fi adaptate pentru ediția 2018, Transilvania Train a fost un succes, iar acest lucru a fost confirmat de reacțiile participanților care au apreciat atât conceptul și programul evenimentului, cât și calitatea serviciilor. Nu în ultimul rând, participanții au menționat drept plusuri atmosfera care s-a creat și faptul că au avut ocazia să cunoască și să lege prietenii cu oameni cu pasiuni și interese comune.”, povestește Cristi Pitulice, co-fondator Transilvania Train.
Founders of Transilvania Train: Oana Pricop, co-founder of Transilvania Train, Managing Partner of Free Spirit Travel agency; Alina Deak, co-founder of Transilvania Train, Managing Partner of Free Spirit Travel agency; Alexandra Grigore, co-founder of Transilvania Train, Managing Partner of Globe 365 travel agency; Cristi Pitulice, co-founder of Transilvania Train, Managing Partner of Globe 365 travel agency.
The communication team: Delia Mărgărit, Managing Partner The Good Company; Miranda Anca Spiridon, Account Executive @ The Good Company; Magda Topolică, Sr. Account Manager @ The Good Company; Florence Luca, Managing Partner @ Digital Friday; Teodor Bradu, Creative @ Digital Friday; Anita Kevorkian, Graphic Designer @ Digital Friday; Dan Coravu, Content Creator @ The Good Company; Dori Alexa, Graphic Designer @ Digital Friday; Laura Luncanu, Graphic Designer @ Digital Friday.