With tourist numbers dropping in recent years, the tourism authority in Menorca came to the conclusion that they needed to reverse that decline – but rather than conventional advertising they took a more direct marketing approach.
The investment appears to be paying dividends as the signs are that the number of holidaymakers in 2011 is going to be up on previous years.
And that’s good news for local businesses such as family owned Menorca hotels, bars and restaurants, along with tourist activities like beach amusements, horse riding and jeep safaris who rely on the volume of visitors being good to remain in business.
Even if the number of holidaymakers does go up this year, those local businesses reliant on tourism face a new challenge next year as one of the UK’s main tour operators – First Choice – will be offering exclusively package holidays to its clients.
With the economy still precariously balanced, package holidays allow families to plan a trip abroad knowing that the overall cost won’t escalate. For the island a company will include flights to Menorca, hotel accommodation, and a choice of how many meals a day are included – all inclusive will be breakfast, lunch and an evening meal and will usually include locally produced alcoholic and soft drinks.
But this isn’t good news for local businesses – while this sounds, and often is, a great way to budget many families are tempted to stay within their hotel confines, in the knowledge that once they are out and about they will be paying for something they could otherwise have had at no extra cost as part of their holiday.
The tourists who are most likely to spend money are those on Menorca villa holidays, buying their food in the local supermarkets, eating out at restaurants, taking day trips organised by local sightseeing operators, and overall putting money in to the local economy and keeping Menorca an invigorating place to holiday, with far more to offer than all inclusive food and drinks and a swimming pool and children’s activities in-house.
The Menorca roadshow took place in the UK in February and March, a good time to promote holidays in the sun and holidays in Menorca in particular as it came during one of Britain’s longest and coldest winters for a generation.
Crossing the country in a specially designed bus, the campaign was entitled ‘Menorca – Warm at Heart’ ‘ and took in the cities of London, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, Bristol and Manchester.
To make the most of the direct marketing approach the roadshow included a daily prize of a trip to Menorca for two, along with the facility on board to take bookings for flights, hotels and holidays on the island for this summer with special deals for those interested.
The move was a brave one by the Tourist Board, and took imagination, coordination and a dertimination to show people in the UK just what holidays in Menorca can offer, and with advertising Euros at a premium the island will be hoping that the direct marketing approach has worked, and prompted people who have been before to visit again, and for people who haven’t to shortlist Menorca as a holiday destination.