Amazing what the right tools will do

Last year the Caribbean welcomed over 29 million overnight visitors. Naturally, they came from a variety of different backgrounds and possessed all kinds of interesting characteristics, but they all had one thing in common: They experienced the pleasures of Caribbean. What a goldmine of valuable information tourism planners would have if they could collect specific information about those happy visitors!

Some obvious questions: What was their experience on this vacation? How could we make it better? What led them to choose us among all the destinations in the world? What did the vacation cost? What portion of their annual income do they normally spend on vacations? Would they consider returning to this destination? How soon? Would they be willing to influence others to visit?

Every tourism planner grapples with a basic problem: The cost of acquisition; i.e. the expense of marketing and promotion, distribution, commissions and incentives associated with acquiring a visitor. So naturally, those costs are considerably reduced when three things happen:

  • A current visitor makes a decision to return to the destination
  • A current visitor has such a great experience that he/she decides to recommend the destination to other vacationers, practically reducing the destination’s cost of marketing to those new visitors
  • The destination is able to collect such useful intelligence about current visitors that that information can now be used to market to similar types of visitors, essentially ‘cloning’ those who already visit.

Of course there are tools readily available to collect, analyze and properly utilize all the data needed to understand current customers, attract them back at minimal cost, and turn them into promoters.  But surprisingly few businesses take advantage of these tools.

During the next few minutes we’ll take only a cursory glance at what the Caribbean Tourism Organization is doing to address some of this; to literally design and collate a few of the essential tools.

These new tools, designed to generate actionable data about visitors and potential visitors, have increased the relevance of membership in the CTO for both destinations and the companies that are allied members.

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The right tools help officials and business leaders make more informed – and ultimately more profitable decisions. Policy-makers and cost-conscious leaders use these vital resources to fine-tune marketing strategies, promptly react to visitor satisfaction levels and capture a more lucrative share of the market.

What we have discussed here is but a tiny sample of what is available through the CTO and its business partners.

There is an abundance of choices in the global business toolkit, some more useful than others. We’re happy to help identify the ones best suited for your particular needs.

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