Rosalie Bay Case Study

Background

Rosalie Bay Resort was 28-room eco-wellness boutique resort on Dominica, the Caribbean’s Nature Island. Sadly, the resort sustained catastrophic damage from the 2017 Category 5 Hurricane Maria and is no longer open. However, its resort opening story and success until that devastating storm is one that put both the resort and its island home on the world stage.

 

A hand-built sanctuary created over nine years, Rosalie Bay’s initial launch was without marketing and public relations. This resulted in occupancy and revenue not meeting the owner’s expectations, so she turned to MPA Digital for a much-needed solution. 

Objectives

The resort needed to boost occupancy by creating more awareness among prospects and build relationships with past guests to encourage word-of-mouth marketing. MP&A was hired in November 2011 to launch an integrated customer relationship marketing campaign.

Strategies

MP&A developed a comprehensive integrated customer relationship marketing program for Rosalie Bay, which began almost immediately. Program highlights included:

  • Positioning and Tagline. Through an inclusive process involving stakeholders, a benefit-oriented positioning and tagline was created that could be reinforced in all communications.
  • Website. Developed a new, search engine optimized website with large photos to entice visitors.
  • Sales. MPA helped establish Rosalie Bay in the marketplace helping to negotiate contracts with wholesalers, tour operators and online travel agencies (OTAs).
  • TripAdvisor Strategy. Essential to increasing reviews and prominence on the site.
  • eNewsletter. Key to building relationships with past guests and prospects.
  • Social Media. Relationships were strengthened with carefully created messages and regular interaction on the resort’s social media pages, all managed by MP&A.
  • Travel Agents. MPA targeted trade publications, created a travel agent page on the website, and distributed emails via a national travel agent database.
  • Database. As a new resort, generating awareness among prospects was key to the strategy and several tactics were used to build the database.
  • Public Relations. A proactive PR campaign was launched appealing to key travel journalists with media outlets the targeted audience consulted for travel planning.

Results

In the first year (2011-12) of the integrated marketing program, Rosalie Bay Resort achieved:

  • Monthly website traffic more than tripled
  • Editorial coverage in 100+ online and print publications
  • Facebook fans and engagement significantly increased
  • Room revenue and occupancy more than doubled vs. the previous year.

Before Hurricane Maria forced the resort to close in September 2017, MPA ultimately positioned the resort as a premier eco-wellness property, drove sales and occupancy, and aided Rosalie Bay to be the only Caribbean charter member of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World.

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