Tourism Launches Promotion to Counter Softening Market

To counter reports of softening demand for Caribbean travel, the Tourism Department announced a robust marketing program that includes $300,000 in national television advertising on CNN and CNN’s Headline News over the next six weeks, the department said in a Tuesday press release.

This advertising campaign, which began this week, is expected to reach thousands of households across the nation.

This new round of advertising also supports efforts by Tourism’s sales team at this month’s New York Times Travel Show and the upcoming Boston Globe Travel Show. At these shows, travel agents and consumers receive firsthand information about the territory’s unique offerings.

"We have to be more aggressive with our marketing strategies to further increase awareness and drive travel to the territory,” Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty said.

She said her team has hit the road to promote the territory’s offerings after an unseasonably warm start to the winter season in key markets.

In addition to the advertising campaign, Tourism has dedicated $175,000 in booking incentives, with a seventh free night offer provided by participating hotels. The combined incentives, which will be sold through major tour operator partners, are valued at $300,000. An additional $60,000 will go towards a cooperative advertising campaign via the tour operator community.

The entire marketing investment is more than $700,000.

The goal of the promotion, which is expected to yield a return on investment of 6 to 1, is to generate more than 3,000 room nights.

The commissioner said the territory will take this message to the 2016 edition of Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which is taking place in the Bahamas this week. The two-day event provides an arena for tourism suppliers to meet face-to-face with wholesalers from around the world selling Caribbean vacation travel as well as opportunities for members of the media to hear updates and new developments from participating destinations.

Nicholson-Doty said plans also include meeting with the media, travel agents and meeting planners in Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis and New York in the upcoming weeks as well as the execution of a strong social media strategy to drive engagement and interest in the Virgin Islands.

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