Discover Puerto Rico targeting remote work traveler niche
Confirming that travel the booking window has shortened, Discover Puerto Rico has turned its attention to promoting the island as “an ideal remote work destination for Americans on the mainland looking for an escape, while they continue their corporate duties.”
Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s destination marketing organization, hosted its monthly Industry Update, confirming that with rising COVID cases across the U.S., consumer sentiment has been shifting.
It presented a Destination Analysts survey that showed that consumers “remain in an elevated state of anxiety, showing that excitement levels about taking a getaway in the next month and openness to travel inspiration decreased, while perceptions of travel activities as unsafe are increasing.”
However, because remote working conditions are expected to extend long beyond the pandemic is over, Discover Puerto Rico has developed a micro campaign to target that specific audience, which has been working from home for six months or longer in 2020 with no re-entry plan to work in 2021.
“As we focus on future travel, the messaging has transitioned to actively encourage travelers to start planning and booking their future visits to the island,” said Leah Chandler, chief marketing officer of Discover Puerto Rico.
“The goal is to continue to instill confidence and inspire, while educating on the protocols that the island has in place. Discover Puerto Rico has officially re-entered the media marketplace, focused on driving bookings for early 2021,” she said.
To that effect, the entity has “ramped up investment in search advertising, with Google searches for travel on the rise. We’re putting a high importance on targeting to make sure we are reaching the right travelers, with a specific focus on responsible travelers, outdoor and luxury travelers,” Chandler said.
Meanwhile, Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean said, “Overall booking of travel is a mixed bag of results, with many consumers holding off making plans or cancelling their holiday travel plans as they watch what happens with the pandemic in their own communities and beyond.”
Even though recent surveys show a change in the sentiment of future travel, the data shows that there has been an increase in arrival of passengers to Puerto Rico since mid-September, which shows that consumers are not waiting for an official opening date to arrive, Discover Puerto Rico said.
“We want to help revive the tourism industry and make the upcoming 2021 winter season the best it can be, in spite of the circumstances. As tourism levels slowly increase, we expect our funding for promotion to increase as well, and we remain hopeful we will soon have federal funds from the CARES Act and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funding to help us boost promotion for the winter season,” he said.
Alisha Valentine, Discover Puerto Rico’s director of research and analytics cited data from third-party firm Adara, that shows how the booking windows have shortened, pre-pandemic, consumers were booking 31-60 days out.
“Now, however, it is 0-15 days before their trip that these consumers are booking. Since Adara tracks both searches and bookings, we can understand how the booking window has changed over time,” Valentine said. “Currently we’re seeing more U.S. domestic travel by couples and singles, this audience has made 62% of Puerto Rico visitors in the past months.”
Looking ahead, Discover Puerto Rico is banking on partnerships like the ones recently struck with Airbnb and Brands of Puerto Rico to boost its marketing and promotional strategies for the island.