Climate Smart Islands

Assisting the IDB and the tourism industries of three pilot destinations to develop a fresh brand identity that is able to convey the implementation of critical climate change adaptation and mitigation measures

  • Client: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • Partners: Pilot Island Destinations of Caye Caulker, Belize, Harbour Island, Bahamas and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Project Duration: November 2017 - December 2018

Project Description

Due to low geographic altitude, their island nature, and developing infrastructure, Caribbean nations are at a particular risk to climate change and the weather irregularities that accompany it. The renewable energy infrastructure of these nations is significantly underdeveloped, meaning they contribute to their own destruction through carbon emissions and are vulnerable to the volatility of the global petroleum market. For nations that rely significantly on the tourism sector, a sector that is threatened by these extreme weather events, building a resilient and low-emission energy infrastructure and ensuring the industry operates more responsibly is extremely important. It is for these reasons that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) designed and approved the regional technical cooperation “Caribbean Climate Smart Islands Program” in order to encourage transitioning to a low carbon and climate resilient development pathway, utilizing as pilots the islands of Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago), Caye Caulker (Belize), and Harbour Island (The Bahamas). This project’s principal goal is to assist the IDB and the tourism industries of the pilot destinations to develop a fresh brand identity that is able to convey the implementation of critical climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. Solimar aims to create a branding and marketing strategy around the energy infrastructure developments and reduction in carbon emissions in the three sites in order to effectively spread the word about the effectiveness of the pilot sites. This strategy will then be used to launch a comprehensive marketing campaign to promote these destinations to tourists. The goal of this strategy will be to reach those travelers who are choosing their travel destinations and service providers more wisely and are seeking out those that proudly offer carbon-neutral itineraries and can provide authentic experiences with local communities.

Major Activities

  • Desk Research, Program Planning, and Orientation: Meet with the two other consulting teams working under CCSIP to gather information on their efforts and successes implementing low-carbon strategies for the pilot destinations, and conduct desk research and independent research about tourism in the area as well as carbon neutral branding efforts worldwide.
  • Destination Consultations and Strategic Planning: Work with committed locals, or champions that are found or created to ensure that implementation begins as a grassroots effort. Develop a list of stakeholders from government agencies (e.g. Departments of Tourism, Culture, National Parks), the private sector, commercial operators, community leaders and other stakeholders from each destination to participate in local consultations to gather inputs into the branding and communications strategy. Draft a comprehensive Marketing and Communications Strategy.
  • Final Marketing and Communications Plan: Finalize a Marketing and Communications Strategy that includes regional destination branding objectives and goals, demonstration of the success of carbon neutral strategies, core branding themes and key messages, and suggested marketing materials and communication tactics.
  • Action Planning: Develop Action Plans related to the following: Public relations and media outreach related to the launch, social media (including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a blog), travel trade marketing, and local marketing with stakeholders (i.e. governments, private sector, tour operators, travel agencies, etc.) at each destination. In addition, create a cooperative marketing partnership program that can combine the marketing efforts of the three pilot destinations into one coherent voice.
  • Support to Action Plan Implementation: Provide support to action plan implementation—ensuring the communications messages and materials are disseminated in practical ways in which local stakeholders can utilize these tools for their benefit and the continued benefit of the region.

Anticipated Results

  • A Marketing and Communications Strategy for each of the three pilot islands including a brand for the Climate Smart Islands Program
  • Action Plans for implementing these marketing and communications strategies
  • A cooperative marketing partnership program that can combine the marketing efforts of the three pilot destinations into one coherent voice

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“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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