Every Caribbean island touts its beaches, beauty and the three S’s, so how does one destination set itself apart from competing locales in this sea of sameness?
The Cayman Islands is banking on its new “Dream in Cayman” ad campaign to answer that question. The campaign launched this month across print, TV and digital media platforms and videos.
The new marketing initiative comes on the heels of last year’s record-setting arrival numbers that topped 2.3 million, with air arrivals up 10.7% and cruise passengers up 11.2% over 2017.
“We’ve seen record growth, and it is a goal that we are diligently working toward maintaining for 2019,” said Rosa Harris, director of tourism.
That growth continued in January, which saw a 21.3% jump in arrivals to more than 312,400 visitors, marking the largest January in the history of the department of tourism.
The campaign showcases the destination‘s natural beauty, its reputation as a luxury destination and the diversity of experiences available to returning and first-time visitors, according to Harris.
“The Cayman Islands is much more than a sun-and-sand destination; rather, it is a lifestyle retreat catering to travelers of all ages and interests,” she said.
“Dream in Cayman” ties in themes of nature and scenery that are native to the Caribbean, while showcasing aspects of specific Cayman heritage, including the Crystal Caves, Stingray City, Seven Mile Beach, blue iguanas, giant sea turtles and a variety of scuba sites.
While the ads aim to stir the wanderlust in travelers, the trade has not been overlooked.
“The layout of these ads is deliberately clean and simple. The singular call to action is our URL on each ad, which will take travelers to that website and a heading called Plan Your Trip, which has a link to our listings of Cayman Travel Specialists,” Harris said.
The director emphasized that travel advisors are an integral component of the tourism plan for the destination.
“DOT has had a rewards program for travel advisors for several years, and we keep it current with incentives, prizes, leads, fam tips and priority access to special events,” Harris said.
As Travel Weekly earlier reported, additional airlift to the Cayman Islands, the expanded Owen Roberts Airport in Grand Cayman, new festivals and added room stock are designed to bolster appeal to vacationers and to generate awareness of the destination.
“New nonstop service from major U.S. gateways opens markets that were previously untapped for us, which contributes to the boost in visits from new and seasoned travelers,” Harris said.
(Cayman Airways’ nonstop 737 Max 8 service from Denver to Grand Cayman, which launched on March 2, has been grounded pending findings from the recent Ethiopian Airlines crash.)
JetBlue launched daily nonstop service last fall from Fort Lauderdale and Southwest plans to open a route from Baltimore in June.
The airport expansion, which triples the size of the facility, will be officially opened on March 27 during a royal visit by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Current room stock stands at 6,825 rooms in addition to 300 Airbnb listings.