Tobago revives in-person global tourism marketing
Posted Dec 16, 2022
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) has set in motion a multi-platform marketing strategy to reignite interest in destination Tobago, and lay the foundation for increased visitor arrivals from key overseas markets. In a timely evolution from mostly digital and remote marketing engagement strategies employed during the height of the pandemic, the Agency has reengaged the international travel trade by resuming attendance to key tourism industry networking and promotional events across in visitor source markets across the globe.
Following a successful showing at WTM London from November 7-9, TTAL partnered with BBC Wildlife and affiliate partner magazines to host a bespoke event on November 10 designed to promote awareness of Tobago as a potential holiday destination among readers, and capture leads for future bookings. The highly engaged audience enjoyed an interactive interview panel exploring Tobago’s touristic attributes featuring TTAL Executive Chairman Alicia Edwards and local tour guide William Trim, with contributions by Tobago’s Chief Secretary, the Hon. Farley Augustine. The event also included key aspects of Tobago’s culture through live entertainment and culinary delicacies to entice attendees with a taste of Tobago.
TTAL also hosted a highly engaging travel agent training and networking event in London pre-WTM on November 3, which allowed for focused, one-to-one interactions with over 30 travel agents and UK-based hotel representatives. The TTAL team presented on destination Tobago’s and its core attractors, engaging attendees with the sights and sounds of the island with cultural entertainment and Tobago-themed cuisine.
These activities followed TTAL’s prior niche-market engagement in the UK at the National Wedding Show, held on October 15 and 16 in Excel London. The UK National Wedding show is the largest wedding trade show in the United Kingdom and one of the largest in Europe. As the wedding market has been identified by TTAL as a key area of focus for Tobago’s tourism growth, TTAL’s participation helped to build consumer and travel trade awareness of the islands as a prospective destination for romantic holidays.
Over in the USA, Destination Tobago was represented at this year’s Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) Show from November 1 to 4 in Orlando, Florida. TTAL officials attended along with members of the Tobago Dive Association to create business linkages and explore new opportunities for the destination in dive tourism. The 4-day event brought together key members of the international dive industry, including retailers, tour operators and destination promoters. As the main hub for professional divers to garner insights on traveling to the best diving destinations in the world, DEMA Show was a key platform for TTAL to promote Tobago’s globally competitive dive product.
Commenting on TTAL’s resumption of in-person engagement strategies and their importance, Executive Chairman Ms. Alicia Edwards stated:
“A return to live events that target niche industry operators and consumers is a worthwhile endeavour in our goal of placing destination Tobago within the consideration set of travellers in our target markets. TTAL will continue to seek out and participate in relevant global trade events that have the potential to bolster bookings to our unspoilt island, and drive much-needed business opportunities to our local tourism enterprises.”
In additional strategic efforts to boost arrivals to Tobago, the Agency continues to work towards finding best-practice solutions for airlift and connectivity issues that limit the tourism industry’s growth potential. As such, TTAL partnered with the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago to attend the Routes World Forum in Las Vegas from October 16-18, 2022. Tobago’s tourism officials gained exclusive insight from airline CEOs and industry heavyweights as they discussed the current state of the industry, and the actions that must be taken to stimulate post-Covid recovery and increase airlift.
In looking at arrivals to the destination holistically, TTAL also sought to harness the potential from cruise business across the region by attending this year’s Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Conference in the Dominican Republic from October 11 to 14. The FCCA Cruise Conference is the only official cruise conference representing the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America, designed to foster a better understanding of the cruise industry and help attendees improve their cruise tourism business.
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited continues to work assiduously on behalf of Tobago to get tourism in Tobago back to where it should be once again, combining established marketing best-practices with evolved post-COVID engagement strategies to increase destination Tobago’s global competitiveness in travel and tourism.
[Cover image: Panellists and dignitaries during the BBC Wildlife reader’s event. (Left to right) Nadine Rankin, CEO of AMG Ltd, Tobago UK representatives; panel host Stephanie Cooper, Group Editor, BBC Worldwide; Councillor Tashia Burris, Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation; Chief Secretary Farley Augustine; Executive Chairman Alicia Edwards; expert Tobago guide William Trim.]