Caribbean destinations like most throughout the globe spend millions each year to attract new and returning tourists to the region — in total 25.1million stay-over tourists last year. Many of the marketing campaigns are via traditional television and print media, but we are starting to see more marketing activity online. While the exact level of investment for digital marketing by Caribbean destinations is not known, Caribbean & Co. conducted some analysis to determine which were more successful with their efforts. For each Caribbean destination, we compiled publicly available information including but not limited to:
- * Date Website Domain Created, Domain Authority, Page Authority;
- * Number of Inbound Links to Website Domain;
- * Number of social media followers across six major channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and YouTube; and
- * 3rd party rankings such as Alexa and SimilarWeb.
Based on proprietary weighting of the data, below is a digital marketing ranking for 35 Caribbean destinations.
|Rank||Caribbean Destination||Score||2014 Stay-Over Tourists|
|11||Turks & Caicos Islands||512||368,164|
|13||British Virgin Islands||478||386,049|
|14||United States Virgin Islands||456||730,367|
|15||Trinidad & Tobago||432||412,537|
|18||Nevis||339||included with St Kitts figures|
|29||St Vincent & The Grenadines||186||70,713|
|33||Antigua & Barbuda||152||249,316|
The 2014 stay-over tourists figures above were reported to the Caribbean Tourism Organization and are provide for reference only and have not been factored into the ranking as it is not possible to ascertain from just public information what percentage of stay-over tourists should be given partial or full credit to a destination’s online/digital marketing activity. Further insight would be needed on spend across all marketing channels.
That said, it should also be noted:
1. The majority of websites were established in the mid to late 1990s.
2. Collectively, the websites have approximately 750,000 inbound links; Bermuda alone has 227,000 links.
3. The 35 Caribbean destinations collectively have 5.1million social media followers across the six major networks.
4. The top three social media networks include: Facebook – 87%; Twitter – 10% and Instagram – 2.5%.
5. Jamaica alone has 856,000 social media followers representing approximately 17% of the total.
6. Cuba is the only destination with over 1million stay-over tourists for 2014, that did not rank well. No surprise, as their internet infrastructure is still somewhat limited and are investing more heavily into more traditional marketing (print, television, trade shows, etc.).
7. Aruba’s #1 ranking is not surprising considering their continual creative campaigns online including The Happiness Builder launched earlier this summer which allows potential visitors to explore nearly 100 videos featuring adventure, relaxation, romance and cultural activities in Aruba.
Top photo: Aruba – Family at Butterfly Farm. Photo: © Aruba Tourism Authority.