One of the factors that makes Foursquare appealing is the game component, which rewards users with points and “badges” for checking into certain places.

While this aspect is just for fun and doesn’t usually reap any actual benefits, most enjoy checking in to accumulate these “rewards” and compare with friends. Badges are rewarded in various genres, e.g., if you check into five different coffee spots, you earn the Barista badge; if you check into five different airports, you get the JetSetter badge; if you attend ten different art galleries, the Warhol badge is yours, etc.

Many restaurants are taking advantage of Foursquare and offering check-in deals and mayor rewards, which is awesome.

Last week, a new opportunity arose for destination marketing organizations: Foursquare unveiled city badges, rewarding users for visiting numerous attractions in certain cities. By visiting the corresponding links, you can get an idea of the kinds of places you’d have to visit to earn each badge.

Foursquare cities badge

To discern the various locations that must be visited in order for each city’s badge to be unlocked, Foursquare looked at the tens of millions of places where people have checked in, along with tapping into the collective knowledge of Superusers. They’ve subsequently included well-known spots, local favorites and lots of options in between: everything from hotels, restaurants, museums, malls and more.

To find out the places you need to go to be a local foursquare expert for a certain city, head over to their website. Follow the lists, and, next time you make it to the city (or if you’re there already!), check in to five of the places to unlock your badge.

Foursquare city badgeThis is a great opportunity for destinations to get some unique marketing. By creating a city list for users to achieve that city’s badge, they are thereby:

  1. advertising for major city attractions [for free/comparatively cheap]
  2. getting free exposure whenever someone checks into each place, as their friends/followers are alerted of each check-in
  3. giving people an incentive to frequent your city and its hot spots
  4. setting up authentic promotional opportunities (free hotel night for people who have your city’s badge, maybe?)

If you’d like your city to be considered for its own badge, fill out Foursquare’s city badge request form.

For which cities are you most looking forward to seeing badges?