Turks and Caicos Tourist Board provides update on destination marketing strategy

Eufemia Didonato

In April of this year, the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board announced the launch of a new strategic marketing campaign in an effort to keep Turks and Caicos Islands in the forefront of the minds of potential visitors. The marketing campaign, which was planned in a phased approach over six […]

In April of this year, the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board announced the launch of a new strategic marketing campaign in an effort to keep Turks and Caicos Islands in the forefront of the minds of potential visitors.

The marketing campaign, which was planned in a phased approach over six months, has resulted in increased exposure for the destination through print and online advertising, enhanced public relations with a corresponding media value of over $99 million dollars and greater stakeholder engagement and partnerships.

“The Tourist Board, in light of the current pandemic, was challenged to revamp our strategy in order to ensure that TCI’s tourism industry would recover once our borders reopened,” said Pamela Ewing, Director of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board.

“We are already seeing positive results from our efforts. The Tourist Board is taking a global approach to marketing the destination while still ensuring that we invest primarily in our top source market – the USA. As borders throughout the region reopen and tourists return to the Caribbean, the Turks and Caicos Islands is among the most sought-after destinations. Our campaign continues and we will leverage our industry partnerships to position the Turks and Caicos Islands as the premier luxury Caribbean destination.”

The Tourist Board has engaged in a number of initiatives as part of the marketing campaign including:

Activities in US Market included promotional campaign with Expedia, promotion with American Airlines and American Airlines Vacations, and radio advertisements in the New York area from July 20th to September 30th, 2020.

The Tourist Board has joined Signature Travel Network which provides access to over 5,000 top tier travel agents and hosted the following webinars to provide updates on the destination to our travel partners:

*   Classic Vacations webinar with over 700 travel agents

*  Apple Leisure Group webinar with over 200 travel agents

* Travel Leaders webinar with over 60 travel agents

         * Full page ad in Bliss magazine related to weddings/honeymoons.
      The Tourist Board will participate in the Ascend Virtual Tradeshow on September 23rd which provides the opportunity to exhibit to over 2,000 travel agents.

There will be a marketing campaign with Conde Nast Traveler including a digital promotion and email blast to 30K subscribers; full page advertisement and editorial in New York Lifestyle magazine’s upcoming winter issue, multi-page advertisement in Social Life Magazine and sponsored Social Life Hampton’s Polo event, a full page advertisement, digital banners on website and social media posts with Elevated Lifestyle Magazine and digital advertisement on Travel Weekly’s website and social media.
Activities in UK/Europe Market include a promotional campaign with Expedia.  The Tourist Board hosted seminars and sales calls in Cattolicaa, Rimini, Cervia, Dolo, Conegliano Veneto and Venice, Italy.

In the Canadian Market, there will be a promotional campaign with Air Canada Vacations.

Turks and Caicos will be participating in the Caribbean Comeback virtual conference on September 30th, and there will be a half page advertisement and half page editorial in Horizon Travel & Lifestyle Magazine September issue which is delivered to 100,000 subscribers of the Toronto Star, and a large digital billboard in Dundas Square from September 14th – 20th.
In terms of new markets, the Tourist Board is penetrating new markets as itsmarket research has revealed that these potential markets are optimal for expansion of Brand Turks and Caicos based on trends in the travel and tourism industry.

This is being achieved by print advertisement in India through Travel + Leisure related to weddings and honeymoons and print advertisement in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with Unique Private Jets magazine. This also allows the TCI to tap into a new niche – private jets.
With respect to public relations, in May the Tourist Board named J. Wade Public Relations as its agency of record. The US based firm has developed and is executing a strategic public relations campaign that expands upon the Turks and Caicos Islands’ position as a five-star luxury destination.

Turks and Caicos has received media coverage in a number of online publications including Caribbean Journal, Forbes, Travel Agent Central, Travel Weekly, Conde Nast Traveler, Recommend, Travel Pulse, MSN Lifestyle, Insider Travel Report, The Points Guy, People, Robb Report, Drift Magazine, Time Out, Travel + Leisure, Frommer’s, Vogue and AFAR.

From May 29th to August 20th the Tourist Board’s media coverage has garnered a total of 1,063,057,026 gross impressions with a corresponding media value of over $99 million dollars.

Forbes – Travel writer visited in July and the coverage has not only ran on Forbes but also Fodor’s Travel and there are upcoming press trips confirmed for Beverly Hills Magazine, TripSavvy, Travel + Leisure online and Business Insider.

In relation to social media, there is a distribution and digital marketing partnership with Connect Digital Marketing to promote the destination and the new TCI Assured program to their 235K followers and a new social media campaign to highlight the tourism related businesses including hotels that are currently open for business.
The Tourist Board also has strengthened strategic partnership with Invest TC by collaborating marketing initiatives where there is synergy and has partnered for the second time with Invest TC to advertise in Unique Private Jets magazine and collaborated with the Turks and Caicos Islands Airport Authority on a multi-page feature in Business Focus Magazine.
 The Tourist Board launched a new website on July 14th. The new website is modern and is more representative of our luxury brand.

It also produced and released two new destination videos entitled ‘We Are Turks & Caicos’ and ‘Rediscover Turks & Caicos’ and launched the TCI Assured travel authorization portal and quality assurance program in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Tourism.

There are four full page advertisements in Times of the Islands magazine summer and fall issues and the training department commenced virtual training sessions in customer service and the ‘Know Your Turks & Caicos’ modules.

·         Plans are currently underway to host the 16th Annual Turks and Caicos Conference (TACC) in a virtual format on October 15th and the Tourism Environmental Awareness Month (TEAM) during November. Our theme and event schedule will be released at a later date.

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