The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and its publishing arm, Gold Book Publishing (GBP), are investing on the position of strength and optimism where the Caribbean tourism industry finds itself once again, with the second edition of Caribbean Meetings & Events, launched in 2004, and the fourth edition of the Caribbean Travel Planner - two marketing publications to promote travel to the Caribbean.ÊAccording to Tim Grace, publisher, the success of the inaugural editions can be credited to the priority in their development to produce resources that encompass all of the Caribbean tourism industry and made available at no cost to ensure full market penetration. To ensure this, “listings do not carry a cost, to ensure the information is exhaustive, not limited to those who pay to play,” explained Grace.
Caribbean Meetings & Events is the first publication on the Caribbean meetings market. The oversized, glossy ‘coffee table’ publication is being mailed on a complimentary basis to a database of more than 18,000 meetings and incentive planners, as well as intra-Caribbean meeting planners and qualified planners worldwide who join the program.
The Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board, The Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, and Sol Meliá Hotels, contributed to the success of the effort by allowing CHA access to their highly-qualified Meeting & Incentive Planner databases.
The magazine includes a directory with 700 listings of Caribbean hotels in 31 destinations with any meeting facility, from full meeting and convention facilities to those that cater to the “Executive Retreat” or “Incentive” market niche.ÊA searchable website complements the publication.
To support the marketing initiative with the development of the Caribbean meetings product, last year CHA offered its members seminar presentations sponsored by American Express to familiarise participants with the complex market of meetings travel and to provide them with the tools and information necessary to attract and satisfy meetings and incentive travel clients. Plans are in place for CHA to continue offering this training in 2005.
Meanwhile, The Caribbean Travel Planner is now an annual consumer magazine designed to be the ultimate planning guide for visitors to the Caribbean. The Planner is a comprehensive “Caribbean primer” which offers all the basic information visitors need for vacation planning as well as an insider’s look at a variety of destinations.
Caribbean Travel & Life teams up again with GBP as partners in this venture; its award-winning editorial staff will once more develop features about exciting and popular Caribbean topics including cuisine, adventure, and shopping.
These features will be presented in a factual style, with multiple sidebars and ‘call outs’ listing appropriate websites and other contact details that will help readers needing further information. The magazine will be distributed to those American Express cardholders, within specific demographic marketing areas and high-end filters, and therefore a greater propensity to travel to the Caribbean.Ê