By consolidating all Las Fallas festival events from almost 400 local committees on WhatsApp Business Platform, the Visit Valencia Foundation makes destination information available to thousands of visitors in nine languages. The solution reduces costs, better engages tourists, and diversifies participation by exposing local attractions.
cost savings per interaction on WhatsApp
re-engagement with repeat visits on WhatsApp
increase in customer engagement
customer support languages
A city that never sleeps
The Visit Valencia Foundation is a nonprofit organization in Valencia, Spain, that works with nearly every business in the tourism sector. Founded in 1991, it has helped tourism evolve in the city in ways that boost jobs, the economy, and the well-being of Valencian society.
Engaging visitors everywhere, anytime
The foundation wanted to develop a new communication channel to inform tourists and residents about the thousands of events promoted by almost 400 associations during the week of Valencia’s world-famous Las Fallas festival, better manage crowds, and convince tourists to stay after the festival ends.
A one-of-a-kind tourism experience
Valencia, Spain, is a magical city. It was named the World Design Capital of 2022 and in 2022 the European Union named the city a European Capital of Smart Tourism. In 2016, UNESCO added the city’s annual Las Fallas festival to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It’s a traditional celebration commemorating Saint Joseph from March 1–19 that includes art, food, music, and a lot of orchestrated fireworks in areas across the city. Artists build enormous and exquisitely detailed sculptures made of cardboard, parade them around the city, and (safely) set them ablaze during the festival’s climax.
The city saw around one million visitors in a city of approximately 800 thousand people. So many people attend the festival that the tourist information offices couldn’t keep up with demand. And while there are eight main papier - mâché statues (called fallas) in the city center, there are hundreds of events in surrounding areas that tourists and even many locals knew nothing about. For years, tourists flooded the historical center for the main events they knew about, bottlenecking transit and activities. Locals expressed a desire for a more even distribution for the local economy and to give opportunities to smaller businesses.
To improve the experience of Las Fallas for everyone, the Visit Valencia Foundation partnered with the digital conversation experts on the Sanuker, WOZTELL teams, and the Conversational Business Chair of the Univ ersity of Valencia, to create FallasBot, a WhatsApp Business Platform chatbot that compiles the total list of events for all 400 Fallas committees and provides all information on demand in nine languages. The FallasBot chatbot guides visitors through a variety of options, offering information on all local events happening by time slot, for example right now, tonight, or tomorrow. Events can also be searched by type, like family - friendly activities, or by proximity to a visitor’s current location.
“We combined all information about every festival event in one place,” says Miguel Ángel Pérez, Brand and Markets Director at the Visit Valencia Foundation. “Since we’ve seen that WhatsApp is a popular app in the region, we decided it was the perfect chann el for bringing this information together and delivering it to thousands of people in nine languages 24/7 rather than three languages during business hours at tourist offices.”
Traditionally, only 2 percent of tourists returned to an information office af ter their first visit, but 82 percent returned to FallasBot after their first experience. Each interaction cost 99 percent less than if the foundation had to hire someone to deliver that information in person. And the foundation successfully reduced conges tion in the most crowded parts of the city and helped distribute tourists more evenly.
“Tourists easily access information about the Fallas festival via WhatsApp,” says Jose Perez, CEO of WOZTELL. “We observed a high level of repeat engagement on WhatsApp, indicating that interacting with FallasBot is a much more enjoyable experience than waiting in line at one of the tourist information offices. And because we offered information on demand, day or night, on all listed local events, we saw that visitors could find the most enjoyable ways to experience the Las Fallas festival on the schedule that works best for them. It’s all part of the exciting, welcoming experience we want to offer to all Valencia visitors.”
Success with the FallasBot has inspired the foundation to find even more ways to use WhatsApp to further promote tourism in Valencia, starting with QR codes to help visitors navigate and explore the city year-round.
Wider reach, lower cost
By engaging with tourists via WhatsApp, the foundation reached more people at only 1 percent of the cost, increased the number of repeat interactions by more than 40 times, and tripled the number of support languages.
- 99% cost savings per interaction on WhatsApp
- 82% reengagement with repeat visits on WhatsApp
- 41x increase in customer engagement
- 3x customer support languages enabled on WhatsApp
- 2M+ visitors able to easily access information on demand
“We combined all information about every festival event in one place. Since we’ve seen that WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps in the region, we decided it was the perfect channel for bringing this information together and delivering it to thousands of people in nine languages 24/7 rather than three languages during business hours at tourist offices.”