For the 2020 Adrian Awards program, HSMAI introduced four new focus categories to recognize the resilience that the industry demonstrated in response to COVID: corporate social responsibility, crisis communications and management, recovery strategies, and talent and leadership development. In Hospitality Successes During the Pandemic Year, a new HSMAI Special Report, we profile all of the Best Practice Gold winners in these four categories — including the Cost Rica Tourism Board in the Recovery Strategies category. Make plans now to enter the 2021 Adrian Awards competition, opening October 1.
BACKGROUND: After Costa Rica closed its borders to all foreign travelers in March 2020, the Costa Rica Tourism Board wanted to connect and empathize with its passionate community of travelers during this challenging time. While many destinations were pausing advertising entirely, Costa Rica leaned into the positioning of “Life’s Essentials Found Here,” the campaign it had just launched in 2019, to suggest that travelers pause and think about what really mattered, noting that when the time was right, Costa Rica would be ready to welcome them. Costa Rica communicated this idea through inspirational messaging and experiences from the destination, including producing a video called “We’ll Be Here”; developing a series of cooking videos, coloring worksheets, craft projects, digital wellness retreats, and wanderlust video backgrounds, all available via the newly launched Toolkit Hub: Find Some Balance; sponsoring Pandora’s Relaxation Radio station via in-stream audio, display, and video; and partnering with family experience store CAMP to host an Instagram takeover and virtual vacation.
RESULTS: Costa Rica’s organic, grassroots campaign delivered results across platforms. Find Some Balance nearly doubled the tourism board’s average page view time, and toolkit activities were shared broadly, generating more than 222 million media impressions, while “We’ll Be Here” garnered more than 37.5 million impressions and the Pandora sponsorship reached more than 300,000 listeners. In addition, the Instagram takeover and virtual vacation resulted in 1.8 million media and consumer impressions and nearly 25,000 social media impressions.