Smart Tourism Marketing: Taste The Cayman Islands

If you were traveling to Paris, wouldn’t you love it if the French Government Tourist Office sent you some coq au vin and a baguette?  Or maybe a Nutella croissant that is readily available as delicious street food? How about the makings for a café au lait?

Well, in a new and novel move, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is going to be sending travelers free meal kits so they can preview a taste of the islands typically known for offshore bank accounts. Since the Cayman Islands hope to reach many consumers who have never visited the destination, their first impressions will come through the meal kits and destination-infused recipes. As a travel marketing expert, a travel content provider, and a food marketing expert, I believe that this is an excellent example of smart tourism marketing. Foodies can rejoice!

Recently, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism launched a partnership with a Los Angeles-based meal kit delivery company that is named Chef’d; under this unique partnership, U.S. travelers can order meal kits containing ingredients of Cayman Island recipes so that they can get an idea of the exciting cuisine that the island holds in store for them.

This is unprecedented and one of the first examples of a tourism board working with a meal delivery service as part of a marketing campaign. “Unless you try something, you don’t know how successful it’ll be,” said Rosa Harris, director of tourism for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. “We were more specifically concentrated on a luxury, millennial, young professional clientele who is cooking at home and open to different kinds of cuisines.”

Chef’d said its customer base favors women but ranges from ages 18 to 65 and older. Consumers don’t need a subscription or membership to order from Chef’d and can place a one-time order for a meal kit.

So how about some chocolate bread pudding? The tourism board worked with four Cayman Islands-based chefs to develop the five meal-kit recipes for selections such as pina colada chicken and other delicacies.  Chef’d sources all ingredients in the promotion in the United States and will ship the kits from either its headquarters in Los Angeles or from a shipping facility in Brooklyn, New York.

For a small island country in the western Caribbean, Cayman Islands boast more than 230 restaurants; they include Ripert’s Blue, which is the Caribbean’s only AAA Five-Diamond restaurant that is definitely worth the reservation.

“We’ve been promoting ourselves as a culinary capital of the Caribbean for quite some time,” said Harris. “Outside of other Caribbean destinations where you have a property that’s all-inclusive, our country offers the option of dining out and having a different kind of experience.”

But while the islands have earned awards and distinctions for its dining scene, it’s a huge challenge to translate that to meal kits thousands of miles away through packaging and shipping facilities before they reach consumers’ kitchens.  The meal kits take between 40 to 90 minutes to prepare and cook.

The Cayman Islands are trying to distinguish itself away from traditional kinds of marketing; with the meal kits, consumers can directly engage with island recipes from hundreds of miles away from the destination. Bon appetit!

Debbi K. Kickham is Chief Content Officer of Maxima Marketing, a boutique full-service marketing firm in Westwood, Mass.,





Smart Travel Marketing: Set Sail With Ritz-Carlton Yachts

Like to stay at the Ritz?  Well, I’ve got news for you – the luxury hotel chain has just created its own line of yachts so that you can cruise in upscale style. As a travel marketing expert and a travel content creator, and Chief Content Officer of Maxima Marketing, I applaud this new venture!

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), last week announced its entry into luxury yachting and cruises – bringing the award-winning luxury hotel brand’s service and timeless style to sea. Created by The Ritz-Carlton and maritime experts Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen, in collaboration with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., The Ritz-Carlton will provide luxury hospitality service under a long-term operating agreement. Named The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, this venture represents a unique foray into the cruise industry for a luxury hotel operator. The first of three lavish cruising yachts in this series is scheduled to take to sea in the fourth quarter of 2019, and distinguishes Marriott International as the only provider of luxury accommodations both on land and at sea. What a great way to go!

“The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world,” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “This unique combination of yachting and cruising will usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, casually elegant and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalized service.”

Itineraries are being developed with an intent to combine the lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton’s five-star luxury properties and the casual freedom of a yachting vacation. Calling at intimate and signature destinations alike, voyages will range from seven to ten days. The first ship will cruise a wide variety of destinations depending on the season, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Due to the intimate size of the vessel, the yacht will call at unique locations typically not accessible to large cruise ships, from Capri and Portofino to St. Barths and the old town of Cartagena. With a relaxed pace, that includes both overnight and daytime ports of call, guests will be offered a uniquely curated destination experience.

The specially designed small capacity vessel will measure 190-meters, accommodate up to 298 passengers, and feature 149 suites, each with its own private balcony. The yacht will also feature two 138 square-meter lavish duplex penthouse suites, with modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading cruise ship design firm, Tillberg Design of Sweden. The onboard experience will reflect the sublime comfort and unparalleled level of individualized guest service for which the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized; a first in the cruise industry.

“The Ritz-Carlton is known for its legendary service and high standards,” said Douglas Prothero Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “We are delighted to collaborate with The Ritz-Carlton as our hospitality operator in offering the most exclusive yachting experience to be found at sea in a venture that will give new meaning to curated luxury travel,” continued Lars Clasen, Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

Throughout the journey, guests will indulge in a cruising style that is unparalleled in the ultra-luxury cruise and private yachting sectors. The Ritz-Carlton yachts will feature a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurants at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg; a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa; and a Panorama Lounge and wine bar, offering a wide variety of onboard entertainment. Additionally, the yacht will offer one-of-a-kind curated destination journeys through collaborations with local chefs, musicians and artists, allowing guests to experience the locations in unique and experiential ways, both onboard and ashore.

Reservations will open in May 2018. The ships of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection are also available for private charter. How about chartering it for your destination wedding on board?  That would be delightful!

For more information, please visit Bon Voyage!


Smart Marketing: Whole Foods Launches Lower-Cost Supermarket Chain

If you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods, you know that it’s expensive. So much so that the brand is jokingly referred to as “Whole Paycheck.” It’s true. I only shop there when I want to purchase something special. They even recently opened a Whole Foods Supermarket on Maui, and for the life of me, I can’t even imagine how pricey that must be. Food at the regular supermarket on Maui is expensive – so its Whole Foods store must be off the charts.
I shop at the Whole Foods in Dedham, Mass., when I’m seeking a special treat for myself and my husband Bill. But ouch, it always hurts my wallet. That’s why I typically buy my special and organic goodies at Stop&Shop. The prices at Stop & Shop are always low, low, low, and you also get gas points that give you a bargain at the pump. I can’t say enough good things about Stop&Shop.
Back to Whole Foods. In response to its reputation for being expensive, Whole Foods just announced that it will launch a lower-cost chain, which will appeal to cost-conscious millennials. As a digital food marketer, I love hearing this news. Who doesn’t love a bargain on beautiful food?
Click here to read more.

Notorious Marquis de Sade Spurs New Line of Luxury Goods

I’m a former Editor of Robb Report Magazine – “The Millionaire’s Magazine” – and I thought I had seen it all. You know, million-dollar carousels on sale at Christmas for your kid’s pleasure; tire rims etched with your name in gold; diamond-stuffed Frisbees.

But there’s a new kid on the block that still has me in shock.

You know the Marquis de Sade? The famous, notorious, perverted 18th-century writer and libertine, after whom sadism is named?

Today, his ancestors in France are launching a line of luxury goods in his name.

Move over LVMH – you billion-dollar French luxury line, home to upscale brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Celine and Givenchy. You’ve got competition.

According to a feature article in this month’s edition of Smithsonian Magazine, writer Tony Perrottet shares all the insights about the Marquis, including the facts that the famous writer who died in a mental asylum in 1814 is currently enjoying quite the renaissance. He’s apparently now being hailed as a literary genius for writing 120 Days of Sodom, and he’s the subject of museum exhibits, student theses, and Sorbonne conferences.


I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, in this day and age of Fifty Shades of Grey. The American public – and most people in Western Culture – just aren’t shocked by anything anymore.
Now you can relish in the Marquis’ criminal acts, by purchasing wine with his brand on it, as well as scented candles. Tapenade and meats are to come. Get a load of the copy on the Maison de Sade website, invoking you to purchase a scented candle:


You can also get a bronze replica of the Marquis’ skull, for about $5,700.

Let me tell you something – you buy that, and you’ve got way too much money on your hands. As a marketing expert and marketing content creator, I just can’t get my arms around the public embracing a criminal such as this. He makes Charles Manson look like Popeye. This is a bad marketing idea. Who wants junk like that?