Costa Rica launches tourism initiative

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL: A shaky public that wants to spend its

vacation closer to home is the target of the Costa Rica tourist board

(ICT), which has hired Porter Novelli's Florida office as its agency of

record to educate US travelers about the proximity of Costa Rica to the

US.



PN will handle all media relations for the ICT, and will provide

strategic counseling. The aim is to influence key travel industry

players, and to target travel, trade, and consumer magazines, as well as

websites. In addition, PN will provide counsel on all areas ranging from

interactive campaigns to industry relations efforts.



PN's Centroamerica division, located in Costa Rica, will help develop

the communications effort. The campaign will reflect the biodiversity,

culture, and tranquil setting of Costa Rica.



One point that PN will stress is that it takes less time to fly to Costa

Rica from Atlanta than it does to fly to California. Another focus will

be to build the ICT's relationships with airline and travel industry

partners that are based in major travel hubs, like Dallas, Miami, and

Atlanta.



"In light of everything that has happened, we foresee that US travelers

are going to want to stay closer to home," said Isabella Guerin, account

supervisor for PN's Florida office, based in Fort Lauderdale.



She also thinks that the travel industry will have to change tactics in

how it has traditionally lured US travelers overseas.



"More travelers will spend their vacations in Central and Latin

America," she continued. "This is going to give us an advantage, but all

across the board, I think that the travel industry has to rethink its

communications strategy to highlight the comfort level of services that

are available in these countries."



Last year, the small Central American country of Costa Rica attracted

more than one million US visitors.



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