The St Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has indicated that it is aiming to improve marketing efforts to attract visitors from its main source markets, the United States and United Kingdom.
“As consumers begin to gain confidence in travel and the winter getaway season begins, SLTA marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns highlight travel trends, low COVID-19 cases and safety protocols. The campaigns are driven by new insights in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as strategies that increase paid and editorial exposure in primary travel markets,” the agency said in a press release.
According to the SLTA, the US and UK markets comprise about 65 per cent of inbound air traffic to the island. Since reopening its ports of entry to international travel on July 9, 2020, St Lucia has welcomed over 7,000 visitors with more than 90 per cent combined arriving from the US and UK.
“Internationally, SLTA is at the forefront of tourism marketing creating standout campaigns in these regions to speak directly to travellers and move Saint Lucia to the top of the consideration set as they begin to make their holiday considerations,” the release pointed out.
As part of the direct-to-consumer marketing, the tourism authority said it has shifted its approach to call-to-action campaigns that cater to travellers searching for holiday getaways with the safety of health protocols. In particular, the campaign has targeted travellers who want to celebrate certain milestones — weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries.
At the same time, with winter approaching in the US and UK, the ‘She is Waiting’ advertising campaign will coincide with British Airways (BA) sales push that “prominently features Saint Lucia as a key winter sun destination”.
In North America, the tourism authority is hoping to leverage Cyber Monday deals as a means to pitch St Lucia as a competitively priced destination — which also forms part of its digital marketing push.
For the upcoming season, the authority will invite travel writers to visit St Lucia and provide first-hand accounts of their experiences to their readers.
In relation to its partnerships with airlines, “The SLTA has actively engaged with other carriers on cooperative marketing programmes to amplify efforts”.
So far, the Caribbean island has resumed welcoming airlifts from the US through American Airlines, Delta and JetBlue. As a result, the SLTA has focused its marketing efforts on major gateways such as South Florida, Atlanta, the Tri-state area, as well as the feeder markets of Chicago and Dallas.
“The SLTA has also partnered with American Airlines on a multi-faceted campaign launching September 22, featuring e-mail marketing to more than 13 million AAdvantage members, a supporting social media campaign and incentivizing AA Booking Agents,” the release said.
By mid-October, BA flights from London Gatwick should increase to four per week.