Travel Agent has shared a fair amount of news about Iberostar Hotels & Resorts during the past few years. From the company's addition of hotels in Greece and its presence in Jamaica to its properties in the Dominican Republic and, of course, its all-inclusives in Mexico (check out our video tour of a suite at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso), there's no doubt that Iberostar is expanding its brand across the globe.
But the most exciting news to share is a marketing campaign that features superstar Antonio Banderas, which will, undoubtedly, give the company's global expansion a big boost in the international spotlight.
Travel Agent was on hand in the Riviera Maya in Mexico Wednesday, April 7, for the campaign launch and press conference. The new slogan is, "On vacation, we are all stars." Not only did we get to hear from Banderas himself, but we also got a sneak peak at three television commercials in which the Spanish actor makes a difference in guests' vacations. Check out the first of the commercials below.
The message: guest satisfaction and the total vacation experience are what remains most important to Iberostar and, therefore, the customer plays the leading role in the vacations as the star of the show.
In addition to starring in three commercials, Banderas will promote the brand as a guide in a virtual tour of the Iberostar hotels for an interactive online experience that will enable the actor and the guest to create personalized vacations that can become a reality.
We also hear that Iberostar is considering adding Banderas' wine, Anta Banderas Vino Tinto, to its list of libations (pictured to the left). Our opinion: the man knows his wine, from the viscosity to the aroma.
It's been a busy few months for Banderas, who was named a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations in March and finished shooting a movie for Steven Soderbergh (expected release by the end of the year). So why did he decide to align himself with a travel industry brand?
"Travel is an open book," Banderas said. "It helps me visit places I've never dreamed of. Any person who relates to other cultures while traveling always enriches themself."
That being said, we wondered why he chose Iberostar as his new companion. From a personal standpoint, Banderas said that, with all the traveling he does for films or humanitarian work, he has to expect the comfort he finds at home and appreciates the "human treatment" that Iberostar provides. In fact, he noted that his wife, Melanie Griffith, and their daughter were nowhere near the press conference because they wanted to enjoy the hotel and spa at Iberstar Playa Paraiso.
But beyond his personal experience with the hotel, Banderas chose to work with Iberostar because of the company's dedication to Mexico— which happens to be the home of some of Banderas' more famous films (Desperado, The Mask of Zorro and Once Upon A Time in Mexico). "Mexico has a special place in my heart," Banderas said. "There's something natural that is reflected in the destination."
Banderas is not alone in his appreciation for Mexico. Although the H1N1 (swine flu) scare forced Iberostar to temporarily close its properties in the Riviera Maya and Jamaica, the company never gave up on the North American destination— and that is why Banderas and Iberostar are the right team for the right time. Speaking about Iberostar's actions in the wake of the flu scare, Banderas said he admired how the company "took the bull by its horns" to remind the world that people can travel safely to Mexico. "A country cannot be ruined by a few people and a few media reports," Banderas said. "Iberostar took a step ahead in the situation instead of taking a step behind."
Now, months removed from the flu scare, and amidst of fears of gang and drug violence, both Iberostar Hotels & Resorts and Antonio Banderas remain focused on and invested in travel to Mexico's many slices of paradise.