Campaign reaping benefits

Tourism authorities are reporting significant benefits to the island as a visitors’ holiday paradise, through Rihanna’s contracted social media campaign.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy said at a news conference yesterday at Oceans Two Condo Hotel at Dover, Christ Church, that the teasers which came out in the first week of November attracted 80 million people.

“Now, when you are talking those numbers, I could not even begin to imagine, if I had to go to Madison Avenue and make an appointment with a public relations firm in New York and ask them to price a campaign for me, that I can get the brand Barbados, into the households of 80 million people, I don’t even know what we would have to do. [Minister of Finance] Mr [Chris] Sinckler would have to bring a separate budget, just to pay that bill alone,” Sealy stated.

He said the Government could not have paid for that, adding that it demonstrated the numbers which would be exposed to Barbados.

“The essence of it is Rihanna telling her story about Barbados as a Barbadian; not as a singer. With scenes of her on the beach with ordinary Barbadians, playing dominoes, and pushing some of those things that are the essence of vacation in Barbados,” the tourism minister suggested.

Sealy reported, too, that Rihanna’s appearance on Instagram, which is heavily oriented on pictures, has so far recorded 8.7 million impressions, 300,000 “likes” and 2,000 “shares”, “and we haven’t even launched it properly”.

The minister disclosed that the campaign, which was scheduled to be launched yesterday was experiencing some challenges, and therefore would now likely be unveiled month-end.

He pointed out that this was only the teaser campaign. Sealy told reporters that the contract with Rihanna was her gift to Barbados.

He was of the view that social media was an “extremely” cost effective way of promoting a destination.

The minister said a country could do a lot of targeting at a fraction of the cost. He also announced that discussions were underway with the Ministry of Culture on another major tourism entertainment show, along the same vein as the Rihanna concert held here last August. Sealy said that concert had attracted 20,000 visitors, some of whom also remained on the island after the show. (EJ)

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