Discover Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico’s destination marketing organization, shared results of a recent market study that showed that 56.4% of consumers are “ready to travel,” with more than 40% expecting their next trip will take place before the end of the year.
Citing the data gathered by its research partner Destination Analysts, Discover Puerto Rico has adjusted its messaging to meet travelers where they are in the travel cycle with “It’s Time to Plan” and “It’s Time to Book,” to instill confidence in travel and inspire consumers to start planning their next trip to the island, while continuing to reference the travel guidelines.
“Even though the current Executive Order, which expires on Oct. 16, prohibits the DMO from marketing to drive current demand, with the support of the marketing and sales advisory committee, we started slowly investing paid media on Oct. 5th, with the intent to drive future plans and bookings, said Discover Puerto Rico Chief Marketing Officer Leah Chandler.
“Our evolving strategy is focused on refilling the demand funnel, with heavy focus on video, the reintroduction of over-the-top TV (OTT), and social engagement to get Puerto Rico back in travelers’ future consideration set,” she said.
“After rebuilding awareness, we will stair-step our media investment and layer in mediums to reach travel intenders who are actively searching and planning their next trips,” she added.
A key part of the DMO’s recovery strategy, they will be searching for travelers who profile “as responsible and conscientious, those who are willing to follow local rules.”
This will be done by using available research to determine additional targeting strategies to include on mediums where efficient and effective, Discover Puerto Rico executives said.
“While the organization has not received funding for tourism promotion, the current marketing and promotion strategy is being supported by the reserve of the funding in past months,” said Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean.
“We have made difficult decisions and scaled back on what we were investing so that we would be able to help the destination and local businesses when the time was right, and that time is now,” he said.
“We remain hopeful that we will eventually receive federal funds to help with promotion, like the CARES Act funding or CDBG funding. No federal funds will be used for salaries, administration or overheads, whatever we receive will be used with one purpose in mind, helping rebuild local businesses,” he said.
On the meetings and convention side, Discover Puerto Rico has hosted more than 200 tradeshows, presentations and virtual events including the first virtual tradeshow.
A total of 60 leads have been generated in the period of July through September to bring its total leads to 147 since Mar. 16, when the restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 were put in place, which represents roughly 140,000 rooms or $121 million in potential revenue.
Through a survey completed by event planners, 97% said they intend to hold in-person events before the end of 2021 with 46% believing they will occur in the first half of the year and 75% of them would travel to the Caribbean to hold these events.
“We’re inspired by the commitment, determination and resolve of our tourism industry. Our team at Discover Puerto Rico remains committed to ensuring that the best days of Puerto Rico’s tourism industry lie before us, not behind us,” Dean said.