“A house is the family’s miniature nation” Antoni Gaudí once wrote. The renowned Catalan architect cut his teeth on Casa Vicens, widely considered to be his “first great masterpiece.” Built in the late 1800s along Barcelona’s Carrer de les Carolines as a summer house for Manel Vicens y Montaner, a stock market dealer and broker, the mansion kicked off an aesthetic renewal in European art and architecture.
But it wasn’t until five years ago that Casa Vicens opened to the public as a UNESCO World Heritage site – one of six of Gaudí’s buildings that famously includes La Sagrada Familia, also in Barcelona. After a careful restoration project, Casa Vicens opened with rotating exhibitions and a permanent collection featuring the social, cultural, and artistic context of the building, along with Gaudí’s architectural manifesto, widely considered to be the precursor to the Modernisme movement.
Shortly after the initial launch – which took place just before a fateful pandemic rocked the world of tourism – the staff sought a partner for marketing and distribution. More specifically, they sought an OTA with a global reputation and the right technology to spread the word beyond Barcelona and enable flexible digital ticketing. Tiqets was the right one.
“We chose Tiqets because we knew it was a technological partner that fits perfectly with our vision and with the type of target we wanted to focus on.”
The plan for Casa Vicens was an intimate visitor experience where one could opt for a guided tour or simply wander the mansion soaking it all in. Visitors are invited to wander at their own pace and stay as long as they like, taking in 130 years of history not just about the house, but about Barcelona’s culture.
But five years ago, the world was about to enter a global pandemic, and this phenomenon had an impact on the launch of the much-anticipated historic site. Casa Vicens is less famous than Sagrada Familia, whose high-profile construction has been an ongoing visitor magnet for decades. So an initial boost was needed to promote the new museum internationally.
The right partner would have to have marketing reach and a global reputation, but also the digital capability to enable ticket sales, promotions, and partnerships.
An OTA like Tiqets can greatly amplify the marketing reach of a regional attraction like Casa Vicens. With a built-in audience and proven technology, people trust the tickets they find and buy on Tiqets. This partnership covered a few critical bases.
Casa Vicens is a very large house, but it’s still a house, which means that capacity is limited. Post-pandemic, being able to closely control ticketing was especially important. Tiqets’ advanced technology solutions made it possible for Casa Vicens to both control capacity and encourage ticket-buying.
Tiqets customers can opt to skip the admission line, download an audio guide in 15 languages, and gain access to the rooftop and Mediterranean Garden. Tickets purchased via Tiqets pass through a distributor integration with Casa Vicens’ own booking system, which makes this model work smoothly from the points of view of both the customer and the backend, thanks to Tiqets’ rock-solid API and technical support.
“The most attractive thing about partnering with Tiqets is the technological integration – the API and the commercial and technical support. In order to generate growth, a distributor integration with the booking system is extremely important.”
Gaudí’s style had an international flavor. At Casa Vicens, he integrated the historic Mudejar style with Moorish, Indian, and Japanese elements. This architectural style draws a melting pot of international visitors, and Tiqets has helped the museum tap into the Asian market in particular.
Vilà says, “Asian tourists are really interested in Gaudi’s architecture, and they are a great target audience for us. Tiqets helps us to be more visible to them, and as a result, Korea, Japan, and China are already coming back to the top ten nationalities we serve.”
Being partnered with Tiqets has helped Casa Vicens move from their launch strategy into a perpetual sales strategy. For instance, the museum now offers unique packages in conjunction with other Tiqets customers in Barcelona, like a “3 Houses of Gaudí” bundled package, which has helped multiply sales in just a few months.
As Vilà describes it, ”It’s a package that has a special attraction because you can visit the three most recognized houses of Gaudí in Barcelona, and see the architectural evolution of this genius through these three UNESCO World Heritages. We couldn’t have this package on our website by ourselves, but with Tiqets’ help, we are able to diversify our offerings and maximize sales exponentially.”
“The figures from the ‘3 Houses of Gaudi’ package show that the number of visitors has multiplied by 10 since we joined in early 2023 until today.”
The marketing reach of a good OTA should go beyond simply offering flexible ticketing and promotional options. These things are table stakes, but a premier OTA has more to offer.
Winning a Remarkable Venues Award for Best Landmark in Spain in the crucial pandemic year of 2020 was a huge boon for Casa Vicens. “For us, it was a real surprise,” says Vilà, “because we were competing with more established venues. We value it very much because this category both considers the opinion of visitors and recognizes the experience we offer, as well as the work of our entire team.”
At this time, Casa Vicens was only in its third year, and securing the award helped cement and strengthen their brand recognition, which in turn helped with visibility and boosted their reputation. “Thanks to this award,” Vilà says, “many new visitors discovered our jewel through Tiqets.”
“Casa Vicens is still a young brand, and Tiqets has directly contributed to boosting its visibility. It gave us quickly a broad reach that we couldn’t have gotten ourselves.”
Having an OTA is part marketing, part technology, and all relationship. At the end of the day, every OTA partnership depends upon good communication and great customer service.
Having responsive, capable account managers at Tiqets really made the difference for Casa Vicens. A team to troubleshoot and upload products (ticketing packages) helped the museum maximize sales, and benefit from all the knowledge and experience Tiqets brings to the table.
He says, “Tiqets is a dynamic company that always offers new things in order to stay one step ahead of the others. We have fluid communication, so when there is some kind of problem, or any opportunity to implement, they always give us a quick answer.”
“The good relationship and communication with the team in Barcelona has allowed us to extend our brand reach beyond our website. They really understand how we work and our brand values.”
Casa Vicens has been pleased to see their number of visitors multiply tenfold since partnering with Tiqets. Partnership with the right OTA helped to boost their brand during a crucial stage of post-pandemic re-entry and has helped maximize both visibility and footfall throughout the partnership.
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