Cayman to tap French market

Department of Tourism officials
will be represented at a European business to business travel show for the
first time since 2002.

Top Resa Travel Market, held in
Paris between 21 and 24 September, provides an opportunity for representatives
of 175 destinations to present hotels, events venues, attractions and
destination information to buyers and influential players from the tourism and
leisure sector, explained Don McDougall, regional manager Europe for the
Department of Tourism.

“For the last couple of years we’ve
really concentrated on where the airlift is and that’s out of the UK and
Ireland market, feeder traffic on the Heathrow BA service. You’ve got to fish
where the fish are and Heathrow is where people can easily get to the Cayman
Islands from. But we have noticed interest coming from continental Europe,
particularly this year, and we’re starting to reach out to intercontinental
dive shows and trade shows,” he explained.

Sharing a pavilion

The Cayman Islands will be sharing
the stand with Barbados and all-inclusive resort company SuperClubs. Mr. McDougall
said that this approach was increasingly being seen as a more cost-effective
way of reaching the same audience in the trade show context.

“The Caribbean Trade Organisation
has been receptive to doing more together on a joint footing which represents
the Caribbean, more visibility for the region, and then four or five
destinations tend to come together and take a desk each at a shared pavilion at
these shows. The CTO is an excellent umbrella for doing that and we can do
trade shows at something like a quarter of the cost.”

It also presented an opportunity,
he added, to reach customers who may know where the Caribbean region is, but
who may not be au fait with the different destinations within the area.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t
make any difference to the business you achieve at a show – you’re there, you
do your pre-promotion, you’re still very visible and people come and find you.
You even pick up more walk-bys because people know exactly where they are with
the Caribbean,” said the marketing expert.

LOCALCaymanFrenchSTORY

Don McDougall
Photo: File
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