Discover Puerto Rico focused on attracting ‘responsible’ travelers
Puerto Rico’s Destination Marketing Organization, Discover Puerto Rico, has been following the pent-up demand that has been building up among people who have been unable to travel but are still dreaming of their next vacation.
The organization’s focus has been inspiring responsible travelers by positioning Puerto Rico as a safe destination, while keeping the brand top of mind.
“We’re starting to see movement in the booking cycle, a very welcomed sign. Our advertising plans promote travel planning through a consistent presence in digital marketing combined with television advertisements, specifically designed to capture the interests of likely travelers looking to get away,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.
“While the leisure market will be the first and quickest to recover, we’re also encouraged to see growing interest in the meetings, convention, and incentive segments,” he said.
Research shows that bookings have picked up and continue to climb. The DMO’s data partner Adara, which looks at internet search and booking activity, showed an increase in bookings around the beginning of the year, bringing bookings off about 10% from a year ago.
The rest of the Caribbean also saw a spike at the beginning of the year, bringing them to the 10% off pace as well, but it has not been sustained.
“The research is key. When shifting the marketing strategy for the destination, the DMO has focused on the trip characteristics that potential travelers are looking for. A survey by Destination Analysts shows 60.3% of travelers are looking to enjoy scenic beauty, 57.5% want warm weather activities, and 55.2% want to visit beach destinations or resorts,” said Leah Chandler, CMO of Discover Puerto Rico.
When asked in January what types of leisure vacations consumers sought, “beach and resort destinations” consistently ranked among the most desired experiences, she said.
“We know beaches and warm weather are always a key driver during the winter, but specifically during the pandemic, we know travelers are looking for outdoor product, which we have in abundance and need to lean into,” Chandler said.
As for convention planners, the survey showed that they are seeking images of socially-distanced meetings in the destination, what’s new in the destination and outdoor or group meeting venues.
For Puerto Rico, pace reports suggest that the meetings and conventions industry recovery will start to have an impact in October of 2021 and beyond.