Tobago has seen a 14% increase in international arrivals following the Tourism Agency’s dramatic rebrand.
A year on from Tobago’s rebranding, growth has been positive and a host of environmentally conscious initiatives are planned for the next step forward.
Last year saw the Tobago Tourism Agency reveal a new logo and the tagline “Tobago Beyond: unspoilt, untouched, undiscovered”.
In line with goals set out in the tourism industry’s three-year Road Map for Growth, it aims to boost the sector by focusing on the island’s natural assets and relatively untapped appeal.
At the same time as the new identity launched, marketing plans were introduced across the islands’ key source markets.
New destination imagery has been rolled out in Germany, Canada, the UK and Ireland, while a two-month digital and print campaign resulted in more than 70 million impressions and targeted a print circulation of about 3.7 million across national consumer and travel trade publications.
The push seems to be paying off. The destination saw a 14% increase in international arrivals for the first half of 2019.
Arrivals from the UK, Tobago’s largest market, were up 7% throughout 2018, Caribbean visitors doubled within the same period and Canadian arrivals were up by more than 1,500 passengers.
Tobago Tourism Agency says it is also encouraged by the prospects for the German, Scandinavian and US markets as a result of the new focus.
CEO Louis Lewis says: “Tobago’s branding was considered in the International Travel and Tourism Awards, and we have been shortlisted among the top five in the world. We have seen a surge in interest in Tobago, and our arrivals are on the increase.”
He is ambitious for further visitor hikes on the back of the new focus.
“Using December 2018 as our base year, we project a growth of 25% by the end of 2019, 55% by the end of 2020, and 90% over 2018 by 2021.
“For 2020 there will be greater focus on integrating the digital marketing schemes and highlighting the reasons to visit Tobago and our green initiatives.”
On the island itself, various eco-activities are planned for the coming year under the Tobago Tourism Greening Initiative to help the destination work towards internationally recognised environmental standards.
These include promoting and accentuating natural assets to work towards United Nations’ “Man and the Biosphere” accreditation; rolling out the internationally recognised Green Key programme across the island’s accommodation and the Blue Flag certification standards across its beaches.
Pigeon Point Heritage Park and Store Bay have already begun the Blue Flag accreditation process.
Meanwhile, work continues to help the island’s tourism businesses raise their game.
Various stakeholders will be helped to attain industry standards certification.
A Tourism Accommodation Upgrade Project will also incentivise hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and self-catering accommodation to improve their facilities as Tobago anticipates welcoming more guests.