SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: The Costa Rica Tourist Board recently awarded a two-year contract to Burson-Marsteller to promote the country as a luxury tourist destination.
Natalie Saenz, manager of Burson's travel and tourism practice, said outreach to media, travel agents, and tour promoters is still being planned, but that the campaign will target general interest and travel titles, hold seminars at industry trade shows, and other outreach to travel professionals, conveying the merits of Costa Rica over other destinations like Guatemala or Belize.
While the country already generates some $1.8 billion a year in tourism, the tourist board aims to generate about 6% growth in the market annually over the next 10 years.
"Right now their main market is Baby Boomers, but they want to reach out to Generation X and Y," Saenz said. "Maybe you have the idea of Costa Rica as a place for backpackers, and that's one of the images we have to start changing. It has a lot of high-end properties and they do want to reach this segment."
Burson will also perform public affairs work promoting Costa Rican officials as thought leaders on such issues as the environment, as well as potential crisis or issue management work.
Burson did not provide the value of the contract by press time, though under the US Foreign Agent Registration Act such information must by filed with the Justice Department as a matter of public record within 10 days of starting work.