The Falkland Islands Tourist Board has launched an innovative marketing campaign in the UK this week, to help protect the islands from the impact of the economic recession.
The campaign aims to promote the Falkland Islands as a land-based destination and an expedition cruise destination to a highly targeted segment of the UK market. “Guardian newspaper readers are affluent, well educated, well travelled and have a keen sense of adventure” said Jake Downing, General Manager of the tourist board. “For this reason we chose to work with the Guardian to promote our beautiful islands”.
The tourist board have worked closely with the editorial team at the Guardian to create a ‘microsite’ – a separate mini-website, which is displayed as an offshoot to the Guardian’s own website. The Guardian’s website receives 9 million unique visitors per month, and the Falkland Islands microsite (which can be viewed at www.guardian.co.uk/falkland-islands ) will be live for 8 weeks.
This is the first time the tourist board has initiated such a campaign. “The beauty of this approach is that it allows us to communicate a lot more than a print advert would”, said Mr Downing. “It’s a very sensible strategy, given the lack of knowledge and understanding about the Falklands as a tourist destination. It also suits the preferences of Guardian readers, who are very likely to research holiday ideas online”.
The microsite contains an image gallery of the Falkland Islands, as well as information about what to do and see, links to other relevant websites, plus a competition to win a holiday to the Falklands. The microsite is being promoted through a series of adverts in the UK, both in the printed editions of the Guardian and Observer newspapers, and also through 1.5 million online adverts on the Guardian’s own website.
“The campaign will significantly raise awareness, knowledge and understanding of the Falkland Islands in one of our key target markets, something we simply could not have achieved through a straightforward advertising campaign” says Mr Downing.
An added benefit of the campaign is that the tourist board will be given full contact details of all those who entered the competition, allowing them to follow up their interest with emails and special offers in the future.
“It’s all part of ensuring that our tourism market is protected, prepared and developed for the long-term, so that we are able to reap the benefits when the economy picks up again”, said Mr Downing.