Billions of people now know that the Caribbean is open because of the multifaceted, million-dollar campaign by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), the trade association representing the mutual interests of the cruise industry and destinations and stakeholders in the Caribbean and Latin America.
The association's "Caribbean Is Open" campaign has generated awareness, along with more than five billion impressions, about the majority of Caribbean destinations operating normally, unhindered by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.
Now that travelers again feel confident about the region and impacted destinations have recovered, the campaign is turning its attention to the region's vastness and variety through "Caribbean for Everyone."
Between October 2 and December 1, the campaign generated more than 4.26 billion impressions; 11,949 media placements; 22,432 promoted content clicks; promoted content reach of 14,060,068; and 18,269 total shares of news stories.
That is in addition to the 1.23 billion impressions and 9,041 placements through a satellite media tour, as well as public service announcements with more than 30 celebrities on track for one million total views by mid-January on social media alone-and many more impressions through TV networks that have agreed to run them.
The campaign also showcased the affected destinations' resiliency and tireless recovery efforts. That recovery has been so swift that thousands are now seen disembarking cruise ships and checking into hotels every day in destinations like Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Puerto Rico is officially open for tourism, with more than 100 hotels, 4,000 restaurants, more than 100 attractions, nearly 60 shore excursions and all airports and ground transportation fully operational, and more than 80,000 homeport passengers have already visited San Juan in the last two months.
St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands welcomed back cruise tourism with Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas on November 10, bringing the first cruise passengers since Hurricane Irma. And on November 29, the destination was already handling five cruise ships, and their thousands of passengers, in one day.
St. Maarten's first commercial cruise ship passengers since the hurricanes received a steel pan welcome on December 6, and its first day of cruise tourism featured two calls. It also displayed the destination's preparations in not only repairing damage, but also improving the experience. The destination used the opportunity to meet with cruise line representatives and work with private and public stakeholders to better understand guest expectations and how to exceed them.
Running at least through 2018, "Caribbean for Everyone" will continue using the proven formula and resources of the "Caribbean Is Open" campaign to display the region's range on a grand scale, as well as focusing on particular products and markets to show that the Caribbean offers something for everyone.