The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. unveiled its digital media strategy, including a redesigned www.seepuertorico.com institutional website that is now an “all inclusive” concept seeking to put as much information as possible about the island at the visitor’s fingertips.
The website now features a better navigation experience through a more attractive, streamlined design that encourages users to explore the places that Puerto Rico has to offer, agency Executive Director Luis Rivera-Marín said Thursday during a news conference at a San Juan hotel.
Its full-blown incursion into the digital realm is costing the agency $4 million, including $1.5 million earmarked for banner ads, expanding and maintaining its presence in social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, and securing an inventory of 2,500 words to improve its search engine optimization strategy, said Nicole Rodríguez, the agency’s chief marketing officer.
The strategies aim to attract influential travelers through the website, which is now available in English and Spanish, they said.
“The website’s new design focuses on attracting influential tourists that are on the lookout for places to visit and explore,” Rivera-Marín said. “We have added new editorial content, information about sites and deals available in the different tourist regions of the island, videos, photo galleries, access to free mobile applications and the advertising campaign, among others, so that the user has a complete experience and has all the essential information for planning a vacation to Puerto Rico.”
The website was initially launched in November 2011, and has been redesigned to include a wide range of features including: reorganized information, photo galleries and content such as drop-down menu; social plug-in integration; user intuitive navigation; listings and directories; and an integrated hotel booking engine.
The site also integrates a list of hotels, tour operators and other services endorsed by the agency to help users plan their vacations and generate economic activity for those businesses, he said.
Meanwhile, iPhone users will have access to a “Pocket Guide” application that they can download and use.
“As they navigate through the site, users will be able to add ‘Things to do’ or ‘Places to Visit’ to their Pocket Guide, serving as a trip planning tool that will be seamlessly integrated to our mobile applications,” Rivera-Marín said. “Once in Puerto Rico, the user will be able to locate those places by using maps and other information available to them.”
The app will soon be available for the iPad and for Android users by fall.
Aside from launching the site in Spanish, the agency launched a micro-site version of the website in German to cater to that market that for several months has had direct flight service to Puerto Rico through Condor airlines.
Full-blast social media presence
To reach the influential tourists, the Tourism Co. is promoting the island through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, where the advertising campaign has also been integrated.
“Millions of potential tourists use social networks to search destinations, the places they want to visit and to learn about the experiences of other travelers,” Rodríguez said. “We have the advantage of being the only Caribbean destination capitalizing on this extraordinary promotional tool that has more and more users every day.”
Hits or visits to the agency’s website have increased by 217.88 percent in April 2012 in comparison to April 2011, and should continue surging with the addition of social media to promotional efforts, she said.
According to Google Analytics, the agency’s website received a little more than 103,000 hits in April, from the 32,500 registered during the same month the prior year.