Discover Puerto Rico, the Destination Marketing Organization for the island, will launch its first marketing campaign, featuring a new brand identity during the first quarter of 2019, officials said.
Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean said during the first three months of operation, the DMO has focused on establishing its business structure and conducting research, to update data on potential visitor perception following the impact of Hurricane María.
This market research is “vital to effectively focus the brand’s marketing efforts,” he said.
“Early findings reveal that Puerto Rico shows strong awareness of the island’s scenic beauty and excellent beaches among visitors, but there is significant opportunity to differentiate Puerto Rico from the competition through the development of a brand rooted in the authentic and varied culture around the Island and not only the metropolitan area,” he said.
Dean explained that although the repositioned brand has not been launched, the DMO has continued efforts to market Puerto Rico as a tourist destination because there was an existing plan approved by Puerto Rico Tourism Company for these months.
Addition, after Discover Puerto Rico opened the Request for Proposals (RFP) process in early August, the Board of Directors will now select the firms that will help with the development of brand strategy, brand identity, creative concepts, website development, and digital media planning and buying.
The RFP process was led by an independent task force, composed of six local marketing experts, who evaluated the printed proposals and participated in the pitches on the island to ensure a fair and transparent process. Names of the selected firms will be released to the public this week once the agencies are officially notified.
During the first months of operation, Discover Puerto Rico developed an industry web site (www.puertoricodmo.com) in which information about upcoming events, media coverage, budget and Board of Directors meeting minutes will be published.
Regarding the budget, Dean stated that the DMO operates with $25 million from the tax on hotel occupancy, known as room tax, explaining that 70 percent of the budget is for marketing, promotion and sales; 22 percent for payroll expenses, and 8 percent for administrative expenses.
“These numbers are significantly lower when compared to other DMOs with similar budgets whose average payroll expenses reach 34 percent and only 58 percent goes to marketing, promotion and sales,” according to data from Destinations International, a professional organization representing marketing organizations and convention offices from around the world.