Tui-owned specialist operator Travelbound has teamed up with Photovision UK to add a social dimension to the experience of school trips.
Groups travelling with the operator are given use of a camera so they can capture key moments on their trip.
A password-protected Facebook app allows pictures and videos to be shared among private groups of friends.
After the camera is returned in a pre-paid envelope the content is then turned into a 10 to 15 minute DVD which is distributed among all the people who went on the trip.
The process is always overseen by a teacher and parental permission is sought to prevent any images appearing which shouldn’t.
An example documenting a visit by the Ygsol Bryn Elian School to the Christmas markets of Cologne last year has been uploaded to Facebook (see video above).
Jean Sims, a content strategist for Tui Travel, said: “We were in the process of redesigning the Travelbound.co.uk website and our user research showed that our core audience – school teachers – wanted to see images and videos of real students having fun on their educational trips.
“We also knew that user generated images would provide our users with ‘social proof’ and act as a form of testimonial. We felt real images were more authentic and trustworthy than a generic stock image.
“However, historically Travelbound had found it difficult to gather trip photos because the images were often of young people. This meant the school and the parents needed to give their permission, which added extra layers of administration to any request for photos.
“However through our partnership with Photovision UK we have come up with a process that ensures we sort out all the permissions before the group goes away.
“We are also giving the group an incentive to share their wonderful photos with us – an edited DVD of all their photos and videos – which we didn’t do before.
“So far we’ve had some excellent feedback from groups who have received their DVDs back and some teachers have even been using them to promote their next educational tour.”