The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has invited social media managers of UK tour operators to experience the island on a fam trip, rather than product mangers.
The strategy was implemented as a quick way to reach a mass market across several powerful channels and to showcase that the island is back to business as usual, following the news of Hurricane Irma earlier this year.
The trip was joined by Antigua’s tour operator partners all staying at host hotel Carlisle Bay including Elegant Resorts, ITC, Kenwood, Tropical Sky, Holiday Place, Blue Bay, Turquoise Holidays, and Virgin Holidays.
The group experienced some of the most Instagrammable corners of Antigua on a specifically visual three-day itinerary which included hot spots such as Stingray City, Ffryes Beach and activities like sunrise Pilates and sunset cocktails.
The trip involved a three-pronged social media strategy with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being utilised by the attending tour operators before, during and after the trip.
A new and creative way to market the Caribbean destination, the attendees used Facebook Live Sessions, Instagram posts, and Twitter takeovers as well as blog posts and Q&A sessions post-visit to reach their followings of clients, agents, and travel lovers.
Virgin Holidays has accumulated 40 Instagram stories with a total of 25,631 views and 13 image posts which reached a total audience of 180,821.
Henry Charles Fernandez, the Minister of Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Immigration said of the new strategy:
“The way travel is absorbed is constantly changing and we are always looking at original ways to keep up with travel trends and engage with the trade through different platforms. Following the passage of Hurricane Irma, it’s important to show that Antigua is well and truly open for business and social media is a powerful medium in which to share this message.”