With over 17 years’ experience formulating marketing and communicating strategies for companies such as Telefónica, Movistar, ICEX and Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, developing brands and 360º communications, it is not surprising that Pedro Homar has approached his work at the foundation in much the same way. Currently his sits as marketing director for a public brand with extraordinary potential: Palma de Mallorca
He was appointed in September 2012, after a gruelling selection process, and he started work with one clear objective: to familiarise himself with all the foundation’s members (AirBerlin, City Sightseeing, Acciona Transmediterranea, Air Europa and Meliá), and to come up with a plan of action for 2012-2013 as quickly as possible. His plan, which hopes to maintain 80% of its activities year after year in order to establish its products and strategy, acts as the foundation’s main management tool.
The plan of action was presented in December 2012, just three months after Homar started working at the foundation, and is based on eight products and 33 different activities. 22 of these already existed at the destination, but which are likely to turn into touristic products due to their uniqueness. The Foundation works closely with the governing bodies responsible for these products in order to spread awareness about them further afield and use them as a way of attracting visitors.
The Foundation’s challenge is clear: to attract more tourists during low season, reposition the destination through marketing strategies, and modify the perception consumers have of Palma.
Culture and Sports are two fundamental aspects when it comes to attracting visitors for city breaks. As such, culture represents about 45% of the plan. It already offers consolidated products such as contemporary dance, the Nit de L’Art, and the Maremostra -Ocean International Film Festival – the second edition of which will take place from May 4th to the 11th at Es Baluard Museum. The revitalization of the Miró Foundation is also a central component – it will soon have its own stop on the City Sightseeing bus tour.
As for sports, the Tui Marathon and cycling and triathlon competitions will be the main events within the plan; these are well established meets which generate a significant influx of tourists.
The foundation is optimistic about the upcoming season, and it has reason to be so; there is a 4% growth provision for 2013. Mallorca was the second busiest destination as far as hotel occupancy is concerned during the month of January, just behind the Canary Islands. JetTo Holidays is backing Palma as an urban holiday destination and the Balearics are considered the number one destination for British tourists, according to a study published by ABTA (the Association of British Travel Agents).
A tourism card for the city, Palma Pass, will be made available by the end of the year, and aims to improve tourists’ experience of the metropolis. Another key to gaining more visitors in the low season – apart from maintaining the available hotel accommodation all year round and increasing flight frequency – is to show people that Palma is a city which is full of life, with activities and concerts taking place every weekend. Palma has recently been added to AENA’s Route Committee and fluctuating tariffs may be established according to the time of year – both these aspects will be key.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to promoting the island, almost as endless as its unbeatable potential as a holiday destination; from gastronomy to special events and from art to water sports. Filming can be really significant for the island’s tourism, and not only for the money it brings in.
The plan also accentuates the importance of active promotion in the form of fairs and media travelling as well as increasing quality distinctions and online marketing on social media. It is this solid marketing strategy which is already having a positive effect and which has a long future ahead of it. “Culture and Sports are two fundamental aspects when it comes to attracting visitors for city breaks.” Homar confirms.