ORANJESTAD, Aruba, Wednesday November 11, 2015 – Adding to a recent collection of impressive “firsts,” Aruba now ranks as the most popular digital destination in the Caribbean, according to Caribbean & Co., an expert source on Caribbean lifestyle and luxury brands.
Caribbean & Co. reports that Aruba ranks No. 1 of 35 Caribbean islands for overall “destination marketing index 2015,” as well as No. 1 of 10 Caribbean islands for Instagram reach, boasting 23,000 followers.
The marketing index ranking was derived by a proprietary weighting of various data, including social media followings, website inbound links, 3rd party rankings and more.
According to Ursula Barzey, founder of Caribbean & Co: “Caribbean destinations like most throughout the globe spend millions each year to attract new and returning tourists to the region. Many of the marketing campaigns are via traditional television and print media, but we are starting to see more marketing activity online.”
The Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA), who welcomed a record 1.07 million annual stay-over visitors to Aruba in 2014, attributes much of the island’s success to digital marketing.
“Our commitment to strategic and savvy digital marketing directly impacts Aruba’s GDP, which is more reliant on travel and tourism than any other nation, relative to size, in the world,” said Ronella Tjin-Asjoe Croes, CEO of ATA.
“Aruba’s target audience visits more than 20 websites before booking their vacation, so it is essential for us to maintain a presence throughout that process with a timely, persuasive message at each stage.
“By engaging the best strategists and leveraging targeted technologies, we can ensure our marketing dollars are spent effectively against desired consumers in market for vacation travel.”
While the exact level of investment for digital marketing by Caribbean destinations is not known, Caribbean & Co. conducted some analysis to determine which destinations were more successful with their online marketing efforts.
The ranking was finalized after researching and analysing publicly available information including, but not limited to: Date Website Domain Created, Domain Authority, Page Authority, Number of Inbound Links to Website Domain, Number of social media fans/followers across the six major channels of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and YouTube, as well as 3rd party rankings via Alexa and SimilarWeb.
Based on proprietary weighting of the data, a digital marketing ranking for 35 Caribbean destinations follows:
6 Dominican Republic
7 Puerto Rico
11 Turks & Caicos Islands
12 Cayman Islands
13 British Virgin Islands
14 United States Virgin Islands
15 Trinidad & Tobago
17 St Kitts
21 St Lucia
26 St Maarten
29 St Vincent & The Grenadines
31 St Martin
32 St Eustatius
33 Antigua & Barbuda
35 St Barthélemy
Caribbean & Co. drew attention to the following:
1. The majority of websites were established in the mid to late 1990s.
2. Collectively, the websites have approximately 750,000 inbound links; Bermuda alone has 227,000 links.
3. The 35 Caribbean destinations collectively have 5.1million social media followers across the six major networks.
4. The top three social media networks are: Facebook – 87 percent; Twitter – 10 percent and Instagram – 2.5 percent.
5. Jamaica alone has 856,000 social media followers representing approximately 17 percent of the total.
6. Cuba is the only destination with over 1million stay-over tourists for 2014 that did not rank well. No surprise, as their internet infrastructure is still somewhat limited and [they] are investing more heavily into more traditional marketing (print, television, trade shows, etc.).
7. Aruba’s #1 ranking is not surprising considering their continual creative campaigns online including The Happiness Builder launched earlier this summer which allows potential visitors to explore nearly 100 videos featuring adventure, relaxation, romance and cultural activities in Aruba.