Culture Hack

Caribbean Tourism Ads Fall Short on Representing Culture 

When one thinks of the Caribbean, beaches, warm weather, and maybe even Sandals often come to mind. Often associated with vacationing and touristing, the ‘seductive paradise’ shown in tourism ads as the Caribbean is a melting pot of various cultures, identities, beliefs, and ancestry. However, it is often very difficult to differentiate between the countries and cultures highlighted in one campaign to another based on the snapshots we are shown. In promoting travel destinations and vacation packages, brands must be more immersive and understanding of the local cultural nuances of each island.

Earlier this year, Hilton released ‘The 2023 Traveler Trend Report’ stating that “49% of respondents are looking to be immersed in local cultures and products while traveling in 2023”. Further,” 40% of travelers will be looking for more immersive, personalized access to unique experiences and activities such as performances, events, classes, and spa treatments.”

Consumers are looking for resources to navigate a culture instead of observing it. They are interested in brands that are creating personalized and unique experiences for their destinations. Specifically, those of Caribbean descent are often looking to connect to their roots and community. 

Discovering the motivation behind the consumer is a start. But also understanding the uniqueness of the island and how these varying consumers can fit in. With travel and airline agencies having influence over where travelers are headed, unrealistic standards are now being rejected by consumers who are looking to be immersed in a culture. 

Celebrating local culture as well as its uniqueness will help brands tailor their experiences to this increasingly new generation of travelers. 

Carnival 2023 maybe?

Naomi Augustin