Published Monday, October 12, 2020
Government seeks French tourists
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The government, through the Tourism Institute, developed an advertising campaign in France to attract tourists.
According to the institute, the campaign is based on videos and photos of French celebrities such as singers, actors, among others.
During this month, the publicity is developed in 10 videos about short three-minute interviews, conducted by the French journalist Philippe Gougler.
"Gougler, who also learned about Costa Rica by making news coverage, is popularly known as “ Mr. Turist” for his participation in specialized travel programs on television and radio in France," the institute said in its statement.
The campaign called “Costa Rica a sanctuary of life told by…”, shows interviews with famous French people who talk about their experiences visiting the country or their desire to know Costa Rica.
For this campaign, the institute hires the advertising agency Indigo Unlimited. The agency is working to promote the videos in French news outlets such as Lepoint.fr, Lefigaro.fr, Konbini among others. The cost of the campaign was not disclosed by the Institute.
The advertisement videos are published on the institute's Instagram French language account and on other pages on social networks.
To choose the celebrities hired to appear in the videos, the criteria used was if the person's professional or personal experience with Costa Rica or with a career linked to sustainability, the protection of the planet, together with a positive image in French audiences.
According to the institute, before the pandemic in 2019 more than 77,000 French tourists visited Costa Rica and it was the third-largest European tourist market, only surpassed by Germany and the United Kingdom.
The European Commission allowed tourists to enter France only to citizens of the European Union, as well as from Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican.
Costa Ricans are not authorized to yet enter France.
Related to the U.K., in September the Institute was running an advertising campaign to attract British tourists.
The campaign takes place at the London Waterloo train station in London, to attract both British and European tourists. According to data from the UK Network Trial, more than 90 million trips are registered at Waterloo station per year, the institute said.
In the station, 16 large-format images (3 meters high by 6 wide) of the country's nature, volcanoes, beaches, among others, have been placed.
The central message of the campaign reads, "Your Journey Starts Here!" Aimed to invite the public to live unique experiences in Costa Rica. Banners are complemented by sounds of nature that were installed along a catwalk. The tour lasts approximately 120 seconds.
"Promotional actions in the main source markets of Europe have not stopped, although they have been refocused so as not to lose connection with potential tourists," said Ireth Rodríguez, a representative of the institute. "We have the responsibility to maintain the country's position in an increasingly competitive environment due to covid-19 and following the gradual reactivation of flights to our country."
Alliance was made with British company partners and wholesalers to promote the country and encourage travels.
Among the partners are the tourism companies Trailfinders, Journey Latin America and Explore. They will offer special prices to travel to Costa Rica.
The advertising campaign was designed by the institute and the hired agency Four Communication. Still no word about costs.
Currently, Costa Rica allows flights from the European Union, the Schengen Area and the U.K. for citizens and residents of these areas.
Although there are flights with the European airlines Iberia of Spain and Lufthansa of Germany, the negotiations for the reactivation of British Airways comes at the end of this year.
However, according to the list of foreign passengers from countries and territories allowed to enter England, Costa Ricans are not authorized to yet enter the U.K.
According to statistics from the institute, in 2019, Costa Rica was visited by 500,000 European tourists. Of these, more than 78,000 were from the United Kingdom.
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