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CIDT MARKETS CAYMAN ISLANDS AS A BRAND

Paul Minich, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, talks to TRAVELHotNews.com about new fashion and culinary marketing campaign
08-20-2012  By: Jovana Arnaut
!!!CIDT MARKETS CAYMAN ISLANDS AS A BRAND NOT A DESTINATION

The Cayman Islands, consisting of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, are most famous for their beaches, snorkeling and historic sites. But, Paul Minich, country manager, Canada, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, said the company wants to focus on other aspects of the islands. For starters, it has launched a unique campaign that revolves around topics its target market would be interested in.

Paul Minich, country manager, Canada, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
Paul Minich, country manager, Canada, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
“We consider the Caymans [to be] a cosmopolitan destination,” Minich told TRAVELHotNews.com. “Our target market is affluent travellers, so, what we want to do is be in situations where we can socialize with our market without seeming like we’re selling and being aggressive.”

The new marketing approach is called affinity marketing, which means aligning with a complementary brand and promoting different products under the same campaign.

“We started this strategy three years ago, and this year we’ve really jumped into the international fashion arena to communicate the Cayman Islands message,” Minich said.

The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism has sponsored two Canadian designers: Tosca Delfino and Carrie Hayes. Tosca Delfino has designed the Signature Cayman Islands Collection - it features swimwear inspired by the islands. The Hayes collection focuses on women’s evening wear.

“We’ve done this because we want to be involved in events where our market is socializing,” Minich said. “[Also], by promoting Tosca Delfino and Carrie Hayes, we’re representing fashion and developing Canadian talent in fashion.”

He said that the company’s marketing strategy is going down a different path by focusing on specific categories of interest and then locking in on them.

!!!CIDT MARKETS CAYMAN ISLANDS AS A BRAND NOT A DESTINATION

“Fashion is one area that we’re having a lot of fun with [and] we’re having a lot of success,” Minich said. “We’re getting the Cayman Islands message to consumers in a unique way... All of a sudden the Cayman Islands brand is firmly aligned in the fashion sector and that sector likes to travel and travel well, so, that is a good match for us.”

Minich said that the new strategy goes along with the company’s baseline marketing; it is just a more creative approach in order to appeal to clients.

Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
“Now that I got you all dressed up, I want to take you out to dinner and talk about our culinary strategy,” Minich said. “[It] is based on the same principle: what can we do that is different for consumers here in Canada to be able to promote the Cayman Islands?"

"Those that have gone to the islands know that it’s not an all-inclusive environment," he adds. "That’s what makes it so amazing and that’s what makes it so good. It’s all about the independent restaurant scene, and for people that really enjoy good dining and fine wines.”

The Cayman Islands will be hosting a cookout from Jan. 17 to 20, 2013 at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman. The event will feature authentic dishes prepared by some of the world’s most famous chefs, including Top Chef Canada winner, Dale Mackay. Other chefs include: Eric Ripert, his restaurant, Blue, is located inside the Ritz-Carlton; Jose Andres; Paul Bartolotta;  Anthony Bourdain; Anthony Giglio; Daniel Humm; Ray Isle; David Kinch; and Sherry Yard.

“[This is] one of the main events that we have each year,” Minich said. “It is a very high profile event. The chefs that come to this are international, celebrity chefs... It is a very exclusive affair, [and the] cooking is done in white linen gazebo tents on Seven Mile Beach.”

Batmobile at Cayman Motor Museum - photo credit, Courtney Platt
Batmobile and motocycle at Cayman Motor Museum - photo credit, Courtney Platt
Minich also discussed another marketing strategy that the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is using in order promote its message in the marketplace: cars.

“I’m on my way to Vancouver in a couple of weeks [to attend the] luxury motor car weekend in the botanical gardens... These vehicles are worth $1 million plus - they’re very exotic automobiles.”

He said that he wants to represent the Cayman Islands because, once again, the target market is attending, and he also wants to promote the Cayman Motor Museum which includes the original Batmobile and the Queen’s Rolls Royce.

“[The collection has] close to 100 automobiles.” Minich said. “So, when we’re at this luxury gardens car show in Vancouver, we’re actually going to present that aspect of the Cayman Islands... It is nice to know that there are [other] unique attractions [on the islands].”
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