New initiative to drive business to the Caribbean

A new initiative aimed at driving more business to the Caribbean will be launched next week. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in conjunction with the online travel marketing firm, Performance Media Group Inc. (PMG), will launch CaribRewards, an incentive programme for travel agents, on December 15.
The program will track individual agent bookings and reward those agents who sell inventory in a CaribRewards’ participating property with “Agent Miles” that can be redeemed for merchandise, vacations from participating Caribbean suppliers, client gifts and/or gift certificates.“CaribRewards is not a booking engine. (It is) an agent loyalty programme whose goal is to drive more bookings to the Caribbean by rewarding individual agents for selling participating (or featured) hotels,” said Mark Murphy, president and CEO of PMG.More than 34,000 agents and 25 boutique and chain hotels on 16 Caribbean destinations have already enrolled in the programme. “There are few practical methods of easily determining which travel agents are truly productive for the Caribbean and certainly no quick means of breaking those out by destination. The CaribRewards programme promises exactly that,” argued Hugh Riley, CTO’s director of marketing for the Americas.“The programme will be beneficial to our members and to anyone serious about selling Caribbean vacation products,” Mr. Riley concluded.The CTO marketing director explained that the programme will track individual travel agent sales “down to the reservation number, product sold, wholesaler used or booking method, room nights, selling price and travel date”. This data will be available to participating member countries to use for targeted marketing initiatives and to track their returns on investment.