Caribbean to bow $16M TV campaign in April

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- The first-ever television campaign to promote summer travel to the Caribbean region will launch in late April on nationwide cable channels.

A similar campaign to increase winter traffic will air next fall.

Details of the $16 million campaign, funded jointly by a number of Caribbean governments and Caribbean Hotel Association member hotels, were hammered out at a meeting sponsored by the Caribbean Tourism Organization Feb. 8 in Barbados.

The monthlong campaigns will feature four 30-second TV spots with the theme "Life Needs the Caribbean."

Michael Youngman, CTO marketing director, said the aim of the ads "is to contrast life in the Caribbean vs. life in an everyday environment."

Ads, which will carry a "call your travel agent" tag line, will direct viewers to a toll-free number and a Web site for specific hotel and package information.

Tourism ministers also discussed methods of sustaining financing for subsequent regional campaigns.

One proposal calls for implementation of a modest visitors tax collected at the time of booking. Monies collected would be earmarked for a Caribbean Tourism Development Fund.

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