Solimar, in conjunction with the National Geographic Society Maps Division, recently wrapped up work in the Colombian archipelago of San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina. The Geotourism program focused on improving market access for small and medium sized tourism businesses on the islands by sharing and promoting the stories of local people and the unique attractions of the islands.
Even though the project is over, we’ve reached a new milestone!
We are pleased to announce the launch of a brand new destination video, featuring local voices from San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina that tell the stories of their islands.
The video, created by project partner Gregg Bleakney gives a breathtaking overview of the region, and most importantly, introduces the viewer to the region from a local perspective- an aspect that makes it unique among most destination videos.
This destination video reflects the very important work the Geotourism program implemented in the Colombian archipelago, prioritizing and working with local communities, and making them the focus of sustainable tourism development in the region.
The archipelago lies in the heart of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, one of the world’s largest biosphere reserves. Given this location, there are myriad activities and attractions for tourists; yet due to environmental problems, high population density, and increasing poverty, the region has struggled in recent years. As tourism was identified as a key component to the stimulation and revival of the local economy, our challenge was to enhance the archipelago’s tourism offerings in a sustainable manner, incorporating preservation of local environments, cultures, traditions and people by improving market access for local businesses and tourism stakeholders to the tourism sector.
To this end, the video does a fantastic job of highlighting the people and places that make the archipelago and its environment so special. By combining the songs and voices of the people with beautiful, iconic imagery, the viewer gets a great sense of what the island has to offer.
SOLIMAR AND THE GEOTOURISM PROJECT
Solimar’s main role in this project was contributing to the creation of a National Geographic cobranded Geotourism website that would act as a platform for local businesses and vendors to tell their stories and select key messages, attractions, and experiences in the region to convey to potential visitors. The Geotourism website not only increased the number of visitors to the region, it also attracted the type of visitors most likely to enjoy the cultural and natural experiences of the archipelago.
After building the website, Solimar and its partners came up with a marketing strategy and targeted key travel markets that would be interested in the region. Aside from social media and online campaigns, a key component of this marketing strategy is this video, which has just been finished up and can be viewed right here:
THE DESTINATION VIDEO
As we have seen, videos have become more and more important to destination marketing campaigns and brand recognition. A 2013 study by Google reveals videos influence the choice of next travel destination of 63% of leisure travelers and 66% of business travelers. See the graphic below on how the travel funnel works, and the significant role videos play in the initial steps of the process.
The video tells the unique story of the locals and what they love most about their region through a combination of stunning visuals and beautiful audio. It stays in line with the theme of the campaign, conservation and preservation, while effectively marketing the magnificence of the location and its attractions to potential visitors, like the beaches, scuba diving, food, and music. It successfully conveys the authentic sense of place of the region and stands out from the advertisements you see everyday.
We’re convinced to go, how about you?