A Taste of the Islands; Con Sabor Latino
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

A Taste of the Islands; Con Sabor Latino

In September 1999, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism realized the potential of including the burgeoning Hispanic market in its marketing strategy and embarked on a new marketing effort that put the “accent” on the islands reaching a new milestone in tourism

Paul Holmes

By 2010 the U.S. Hispanic population will grow to 42 million and will become the largest ethnic minority in the country.  Hispanic consumer spending power is expected to exceed $1 trillion.  In September 1999, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism realized the potential of including this burgeoning market in their marketing strategy and embarked on a new marketing effort that put the “accent” on the islands reaching a new milestone in tourism.  The Bahamas wanted the U.S. Hispanic market to recognize the destination as a “hot” and ideal vacation getaway.  A destination rich in culture, history, unique attractions, excellent hotels and resorts and, most importantly, an exciting and easy Caribbean getaway.  The Islands of the Bahamas are only a short flight away from the heaviest concentration of U.S. Hispanics in Miami and New York.

OBJECTIVES AND GOALS

Position The Islands Of The Bahamas among Hispanics consumers as an ideal year-round vacation destination that is accessible and affordable. 

Educate the Hispanic media and consumers that The Islands Of The Bahamas are 700 diversified islands – not just one

Utilize the Hispanic media to create excitement and drive sales

Position The Islands Of  The Bahamas as a destination that is conscious and responsive to the needs of the Hispanic consumer

AUDIENCE

U.S Hispanic Market at a Glance

By 2010, U.S. Hispanics will surpass the 50 million mark

By 2020, one out of every five U.S. residents will be Hispanic

U.S. Hispanic households are larger (3.6) than non-Hispanic households (2.6)

The U.S. Hispanic population is significantly younger (24.8) than the non-Hispanic population (38.4)

Target Audience - U.S. Hispanic consumers ages 25-54, $40K +

PLANNING & EXECUTION

“Vamos a la playa” (“Let’s Go To the Beach”) -- Implement an aggressive marketing communication campaign designed and committed to delivering quality and creative executions that capture the Hispanic media and consumer’s attention. 

The U.S. Hispanic market is richly diversified, with subcultures from over 20 countries.  The levels of assimilation and acculturation – along with language preference – vary among groups, choosing the correct strategies and tactics can make the difference between a campaign that succeeds and one that fails.  The BMOT Hispanic PR campaign was a tactical effort that evolved to an aggressive marketing communications program.  

In order to capture the relevant emotional triggers of the Hispanic tourist, their lifestyle and unique culture, the program was executed in Spanish. Press materials were translated and sent to top tier Hispanic media.

A pro-active media relations campaign for The Bahamas was established by a bi-lingual Hispanic pr team to generate a consistent flow of editorial coverage in a broad range of consumer media not only in travel but lifestyle; food; the arts; sports; family; romance; and watersports showcasing the best attributes of The Islands Of The Bahamas.

A Hispanic press trip with top tier media in New York and Miami was organized with the purpose of introducing to these journalists to everything the islands have to offer.  The trip included unique on-island experiences that ranged from an adventurous and very high speed “Power Boat Adventure” to experiencing the essence of the Bahamian lifestyle with journalists visiting a Bahamian family’s home as part of the BMOT’s “People-to-People program”. 

To generate immediate national awareness that would bring The Bahamas into the homes of millions, the leading U.S. Hispanic television programs where identified and pursued with custom-delivered pitches and feature formats.

RESULTS & EVALUATION

The Bahamas Hispanic marketing effort charted a five-month program with a limited budget of 75K that yielded unprecedented results. The program was culturally attuned and designed to develop strategically driven results in this diverse market.  The following is a sampling of major media placements:

Two one-hour programs originating from the Bahamas featured on Univision, the #1 Hispanic network.  The programs featured CONTROL’s host enjoying the best of The Bahamas and showcasing new learning experiences and interesting Bahamas history.  Household viewership700,000

CALIENTE, a popular music and dance show featured on Univision produced two, one-hour programs that aired multiple times. Bahamas beaches, dancing and lots of sun and fun were the focus of the Caliente Bahamas program.  Household viewership: 1 million

Full feature stories, with color photos prominently appeared in El Diario La Prensa – The #1 Hispanic daily in New York, HOY (NY daily), El Nuevo Herald (the #1 Hispanic daily in Miami), Cristina la Revista (monthly magazine), Latina Magazine (monthly), El Especial (weekly), Impacto Latin News (weekly) among others.  

The official Islands Of The Bahamas website now has a link in Spanish.
With a focused strategy that fit the cultural context and the mind-set of the Hispanic audience, the Bahamas Hispanic Marketing program garnered an overwhelming response from the Hispanic media reaching an estimated 5 million consumers. Successful key coverage was secured and this opened a brand new market for the Bahamas with a very low cost of investment.  The public relations campaign, which was not supported by advertising or any other marketing effort, has resulted in The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism tracking an increase in Hispanic visitors – especially from Miami and New York. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is moving forward in building upon, increasing and maintaining The Islands Of The Bahamas’ presence in the very influential Hispanic market.  The islands have served as host to successful major Hispanic entertainment events such as, the album debut and one-hour CBS concert for Gloria Estefan’s new “Alma Caribeña”, performances by Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz as well as serving as the location site for Ricky Martin’s new “She Bangs” video production.  Las Islas de las Bahamas have never been so “caliente”.

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