Members of our group have a history of providing some clever solutions to longstanding problems. Summaries of some of our favourites are provided below :
Maximizing Room Rates
. . . .many properties have a history of providing tour operators/wholesalers with net rates and pay little attention to the gross selling prices that the customers ultimately pay for their products. Invariably, after the normal markup by the operator, that value is rounded up further to a more customer friendly number that ends in either a "5"or a "9", We advised a client to backcalculate from the likely selling price of their products by their operators to establish their net rates. They ended up with rates that contained odd dollars and cents that were never seen by the customer but which added hundreds of thousands of dollars to our client's bottom line. . . .
Making The Wrong Number Right
. . .another client had tens of thousands of material printed with the wrong telephone number. While the accusations and recriminations flew, we quietly checked with the telephone company to see if that "wrong" number had been issued. It had not. So we acquired the number immediately and made the wrong number right. That "wrong" number is now the primary number for the company to this day.
Getting the Digital Tools for a Digital Age
The Bahamas is the only country on earth that owns its natural URL ,"Bahamas.com", AND toll free telephone # 1800BAHAMAS. Of course, it is convenient that the country's name has seven letters.
These long ago acquisitions were driven, however, by the foresight that the value of the internet would grow prodigiously to the benefit of tourism. Only one other country in our region as of 2012 owns its natural URL.
Tourism is that peculiar business where customers transport themselves to the product based on available information. So effective use of the internet, the most effective and efficient information distribution tool ever created, requires the best platforms and The Bahamas has them.
Unlike Many Other Consumer Products, the Target Demographics of the Tourism Audience Varies By Location
Many tourism marketers coming from a background of packaged goods make a fundamental mistake. They forget that unlike most, if not all, other products and services, the cost of a vacation includes the cost to get to the destination. They also forget that length of stay is often a function of total travel time from home.
So the size of the target audience for this and other reasons diminishes geometrically with distance. That explains the middle income guest from a nearby market staying for two nights at a luxury resort and the high net worth guest from the opposite side of the globe staying for a week.
Establishing the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC)
"The Caribbean is the world's best known unowned brand". This simple piece of insight allowed us to bring the largest public sector organization in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the largest private sector association in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association together to own, protect, expand and enhance the Caribbean brand to the benefit of the region.
We also recognized that brands belong to categories and just as "Mercedes" is associated with automobiles and "Fendi" is associated with high quality women's accessories, "the Caribbean" is associated with vacation travel.
The immediate effect was to create the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, the tourism marketing company for the Caribbean, which combined the marketing efforts of CHTA and CTO into one voice supported by a single logo and a single audio logo . . . .
Moving Tourism From the Employer of Last Choice to Among the Areas of First Choice in The Bahamas
It is quite true that this effort involved many sectors. The insight was that we could never be competitive as a small country if the "best and brightest" shunned tourism, the largest sector of the economy because of some sociological legacies.
Through a series of initiatives from removing tourism reporting from the social pages to the business section to focusing on the financial rewards of working in the sector to establishing "Adopt A School" programs, the sophistication to the sector shone through. Over time, research showed that the percentage of parents with a "bright and energetic" child who would recommended that they seek employment in the tourism sector moved from 17% to 70%.
We fully acknowledged that the much improved quality of tourism products assisted in this remarkable outcome.
Target Markets for Honeymooners are Almost the Inverse of Those for General Vacationers
It now seems obvious but the "special nature of a honeymoon trip" demands that it travels beyond the ordinary. So the nearby markets that are so rich for general travel are relatively poor for honeymooners. They come from farther away and when they don't, they often require the more exotic aspects of the destination's offerings.
How Do You Eliminate the Confusion That Causes Most Vacationers to Avoid the Entire Caribbean Region Whenever A Hurricane Threatens Any Part of The Region?
Create a Weather Conference, of course, for television meteorologists from North America and Europe ahead of the hurricane season.
For more than ten years, this effort led on air meteorologists to provide unerring specificity of the location of hurricanes , the likely travel path and full highlights of the destinations that we not under threat. These annual events were executed by an extraordinarily competent team.