Lashings Helps Jamaican Tourism
How Lashings Boutique Hotel is promoting different side of Jamaica.
By Kesi Gardner
The tourism and hospitality industry plays a major role in the Jamaican economy. Last year, tourism represented 11 percent of GDP, providing some $1.3 trillion in revenue and recognising 1.4 billion international visitors. The occurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, put an inevitable dent in profits for hotels, villas, tour guides, and other businesses dependent on the hospitality industry to thrive. With tighter restrictions on travel, and possible banning of foreigners visiting at any given time due to the spike in cases, the Jamaican hospitality industry has to now pivot and shift marketing strategies to attract locals to stay afloat.
More than ever, staycations are being promoted and Jamaicans are being urged to "rediscover Jamaica" as a place to vacation and explore. Yet to thrive, the Jamaican hospitality industry must find creative ways to be profitable. The onset of Covid-19 and the rise of social media, (as of January 2020, according to HootSuite’s Digital 2020 Report that cites trends, internet and social media data, the total number of Jamaicans who are active social media users is 1.3 million.) means traditional advertising needs to shift budgets to make way for online marketing and this should include Influencers for product mentions and endorsements.
Embracing Influencer Marketing
An influencer from a marketing perspective is: “a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.” By hoteliers embracing the local bloggers and creators they bring a unique perspective and Jamaicans follow and admire their contemporaries enjoying our beautiful island.
Bloggers and YouTubers
“A blogger by definition is a person who regularly writes material for a blog which is hosted on a website. Usually focused on a particular niche, whether that be food, travel or lifestyle.” says Kesi Gardner, the Chief Storyteller of The Storyteller Agency. Co and founder of Love Not Likes, a content creator platform. “The benefit of using a blog is that it will show up in Google search unlike on Instagram which is limited in terms of search. A blog is also forever and will come up on the first or second page of Google if SEO is used correctly.”