Film prompts Cancun to put 'real' attractions on display

LOS ANGELES: The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has launched a media outreach campaign to combat the boobs-and-booze image presented in the recent feature film The Real Cancun.

LOS ANGELES: The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has launched a media outreach campaign to combat the boobs-and-booze image presented in the recent feature film The Real Cancun.

Aided by its AOR Edelman, the CVB issued audio and print releases last week highlighting the area's tourist attractions, beyond the nightclubs and bars featured in the New Line film.

"We want to let everyone know that that is just one piece of the puzzle," said Edelman VP of consumer and diversity practices Lourdes de la Torriente. "[Cancun is] more than just a party destination."

The reality-based film released earlier this month received a great deal of pre-release coverage as film writers debated whether the reality format would transfer to celluloid. While the box-office return for the film has been low, the image of Cancun that the film presents concerned the CVB.

Part of the outreach campaign centers on informing consumers that spring-break revelers account for only a minimal portion of overall tourism in the area. In 2002, for example, 2.9 million visitors headed to the locale, but only 2.1% of those were spring breakers.

De la Torriente added that the CVB felt an immediate effort was needed since the film will be showing in theaters for only a short time.

"If we don't say it now, then when are we going to say it? Nobody is going to care two weeks from now," she explained, adding that the effort is being pitched "not in a defensive or negative way. We're just saying we want to tell you more about the real Cancun."

Edelman's push has so far resulted in articles in USA Today and a possible piece in The Wall Street Journal.

The effort coincides with the launching of another $1.5 million advertising and PR campaign aimed at luring tourists during the summer, a traditionally slow season for Cancun.

That work will focus on advertising on CNN and in major print dailies, as well as a PR component that includes events, radio promotions, and media relations.

The CVB has also recently reorganized to create different "product clubs" that focus on specific areas of tourism, such as weddings and honeymoons, cultural and archeological tourism, and adventure travel. Each category has its own director, and the CVB website (gocancun.com) has been reorganized to help consumers find their particular areas of interest.

"They've organized it for marketing purposes under different umbrellas," explained de la Torriente. "You go to this one person, and you're going to get all the information you need."

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