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Tourism Explores New Approaches with DVD, Music Video

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Mar. 4, 2008 — The Department of Tourism Tuesday showed off new cutting-edge tools to get out its message about the territory, including a destination DVD, a music video and print guides.
Tourism officials debuted the music video and DVD at a news conference at Buccaneer Resort in Christiansted. The new marketing plan targets a younger market, including YouTube users for the music video.
"We want to target the young who can spend many vacation years here," said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Tourism commissioner.
The music is pop, with Jade Anderson singing an original tune, "Island Time." She is the daughter of Jon Anderson, who sang such hits as "Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" in the 1970s and '80s as front man for the British rock band Yes.
"Worries are oceans behind …," Anderson sings, "washing the tension from my mind … sleep beneath the trees … swim the seas, this is how life is meant to be."
The catchy tune showcases the look and feel of the islands with tropical scenery and music. The pop song transitions into quelbe music played by St. Croix's own Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights.
The people behind the multimedia presentations used sophisticated communications tools to reach consumers, according to Brad Laney, vice president of MBooth marketing.
"The natural beauty takes one and transforms them," he said. "These tools are cutting edge."
The DVD tells of a young woman's trip to "America's Caribbean." It is a scrapbook and travel journal; she narrates as the pages turn. The footage shows mocko jumbies, weddings, diving, history, culture and more.
The guides target potential visitors, lovers and divers. Each is filled with photos of island scenery to entice consumers and travel agents to choose the U.S. Virgin Islands. The romance guide is for couples thinking of beginning lives together with an island wedding. The dive guide is an undersea exploration with shots of the "Wall," shipwrecks and reefs. The glossy guides come in two sizes.
The new materials, first unveiled at a media blitz in Atlanta Feb. 7, will be used at trade shows. Travel agents will use the materials in key markets.
"We're doing 500 sales calls a month with this material," Nicholson-Doty said.
The campaign is currently focused in Atlanta, with signs on 75 buses and at airports. Soon the effort will extend to Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, New York, Cleveland and Chicago.
The department is also working with airlines to bring more visitors, Nicholson-Doty said.
"We need to ensure filling the plane and solidly grow the market with filled seats," she said.
The new marketing materials represent new approaches for the Tourism Department.
"These are exciting new pieces," Nicholson-Doty said. "This is a first with exposure in mediums we haven't used before."
To view the materials, go to usvimarketing.com.
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