Colwayne Pickering making a presentation at the ATB meeting.
ANGUILLA–The Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) 2018/2019 strategic marketing plan is to focus on strengthening and transforming the island’s destination to a “Beyond Extraordinary” experience. The five pillars of the Anguilla experience were identified as the areas of romance, adventure, events and culture, health and wellness, and food. The plan was presented to persons from the tourism private sector on Thursday, November 15.
ATB Corporate Affairs Manager Shellya Rogers Webster said ATB’s vision is to provide leadership in the development and marketing of Anguilla as the Caribbean’s premier tourism destination through the offering of a dynamic variety of vacation experiences. She said, “We want to enhance the travellers’ experiences through quality accommodations, easy accessibility, and attractions and activities that include those that celebrate the islands culture and heritage.”
She acknowledged that in light of the very competitive global tourism industry, Anguilla’s tourism experiences require work and focus in order to stay competitive. Some of the challenges which need to be addressed were the disconnect between the public and private sector, lack of a clear overall strategy for developing Anguilla as a tourism and vacation destination, island visibility around the world, customer service inconsistencies across the island, business operating hours, and value-based pricing.
Webster said, “The ATB realises that it cannot be everything to everyone, so we have zeroed in on five niche markets that we will target through aggressive digital presentations and robust use of social platforms.” She said the ATB will also re-focus the marketing strategy for each of the island’s three separate accommodation categories, the large hotels, the villas and the smaller charming escape hotels, using a more targeted customer approach instead of a same-sized approach for the three categories.
During 2018, the ATB’s focus has been to greatly increase its road shows, participate in travel trade and media shows, and strengthen its social media and digital platforms. Additionally, it is working to improve access to the island, identifying environmental areas requiring attention, helping to develop a wider variety of amenities and attractions, and identifying and addressing service inadequacies through training.
The ATB’s 2019/2020 strategic plan, based on analysis of its 2016 tourism data, establishes goals that include increasing occupancy rates to 60 per cent, increasing tourist arrivals by 20 per cent, increasing length of stay, increasing average monetary spend rates, increasing private sector cooperation, and creating a beyond the extraordinary guest experience. The comprehensive and fact-based presentations by Webster, Colwayne Pickering and Chantal Richardson were well-received by all present.