For the first time in its history, the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) has established a partnership with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and CNN International to launch a new campaign: “Essential Costa Rica. My Choice, Naturally.”
Nestled between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica offers visitors an abundance of unique wildlife, landscapes and climates — meaning a trip to this Central American country is anything but run-of-the-mill. The country proudly shelters approximately five percent of the known biodiversity in the world and has become a global leader in sustainable practices. Visitors to Costa Rica enjoy a highly organised tourism infrastructure offering a broad terrain of activities and accommodations.
This new advertising campaign will go beyond promoting traditional products, which has been the predominant approach of the past. Mauricio Ventura, Costa Rica’s Minister of Tourism, explains that while the responsibility of promoting the image of the country as a tourist destination rests on the marketing and advertising actions carried out by the ICT, it was time to expand their strategies beyond the norm.
“We are making a breakthrough with this unique approach. It will be executed on the most diverse platforms, where we’ll reach a wide range of markets like never before. ‘essential Costa Rica. My Choice, Naturally’ is a sensorial, inspiring and aspirational campaign that shows Costa Rica as a destination that generates authentic travel experiences, which create a sense of well-being in visitors,” explained Ventura.
The initiative launched on social media, digital and television platforms in mainly five markets. For the first time ever, Costa Rica will have an advertising campaign of this magnitude in Europe, specifically England and France, as well as in Mexico, Canada and the United States. According to Alejandro Castro, ICT Marketing Director, the markets were chosen for their importance in accounting for the largest number of international arrivals into the country.
In addition, the ICT in conjunction with CNN have produced a digital content hub, which will house feature articles, audio and images. New content will roll out each month for the duration of the campaign. Told through the eyes of a “social explorer,” audiences will be taken on a documented personal journey through Costa Rica to discover what makes it so special. Videos will highlight the host’s journey as they speak to locals, try typical cuisine and participate in wellness and adventure activities.
The campaign’s goal is to redefine its identity and validate the position that Costa Rica is a complete destination by introducing a concept from the personal perspective of a tourist. According to Anita Mendiratta, Special Advisor to the UNWTO Secretary General, “it answers the age-old question: Where should I go on vacation? By using a declaration of trust, through a natural, cultural and personal connection, the choice to make is made obvious.”
Each of the ten videos planned will highlight a different part of Costa Rica and invite users to learn more about the lifestyle that makes Costa Rica the happiest place on earth. Beyond a creative concept, UNWTO, CNN International, CNN Task (a taskforce of more than 80 experts in brands and international tourism), and the ICT identified that Costa Rica possesses what is necessary to differentiate itself from the rest of the world: an authentic product, thanks to their Model of Sustainable Tourism Development, which is a consolidated brand with its own global recognition.
Sustainability is not only engraved in Costa Rica’s infrastructure, culture and tourism offerings, it’s a way of life for its people. With a goal to be the first carbon neutral country in the world by 2021, sustainable practices are observed in every region of the country, across all industries, adopted by all citizens and embraced by visitors. This new campaign takes Costa Rica tourism to another level by positioning the country as a destination of unique experiences that celebrate the local lifestyle and improves quality of life.
CNN International Vice President Corina Keller said: “CNN’s unprecedented reach to more than 450 million homes and 178 million unique monthly users provides our travel partners a global platform to tell their authentic stories efficiently and effectively. It’s been an honour and pleasure working with the government of Costa Rica and the ICT—to carry out this incredible project.”