Travel Impressions’ President Scott Wiseman was tapped to deliver the keynote address at Thursday morning’s Caribbean Tourism Marketing Conference, staged by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and hosted by CTO Allied members in conjunction with the Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME) at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel during Caribbean Week New York.
Wiseman addressed several issues of prominent interest to the Caribbean tourism and hospitality industries, beginning with a current assessment of tourism prospects for the region over the next 10 years.
“You can look at any tourism barometer and see that travel to the Caribbean is trending upwards,” said Wiseman.
“Millennials are more likely to book their vacation through a travel agent than any other age demographic,” said Wiseman. “Millennials aren’t coming to your shores to spend their entire week tanning poolside. They come to experience things worthy of their Instagram feed—and they want to cram as much into their vacation as possible.”
While reaffirming Travel Impressions’ commitment to the Caribbean, Wiseman cautioned attendees about some of the Caribbean’s tourism-hungry neighbors, many of which are on pace to provide stiff competition in the coming decade. He noted Central American destinations such as Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua in particular.
Wiseman also stressed the importance of marketing for the Caribbean in order to remain at the forefront of warm-weather travel, while recognizing the financial constraints many destination tourist offices face in today’s economic climate.
While Wiseman covered Millennials in depth, he also pointed out that social media is a useful tool for marketing to older generations as well, including the Baby Boomer generation, which is “adapting faster than ever to evolving technology,” he said.
“We’ve learned to stop signing our Facebook posts with our names,” said Wiseman. “We’re becoming as fluent in emojis as any of these youngsters. We’re tweeting, double-tapping, and adding filters to images of our kids, grandkids, and dogs with the best of them.”