Work

Tourism Promotion Trust of Acapulco

Acapulco is an iconic destination that put Mexico on the global tourism map. But social problems in recent years have taken a toll on the city’s tourism industry and economy as a whole. The tourist resort also has suffered from a lack of confidence among investors, airlines, and the general public, while other sun-and-sand destinations have become more appealing to international visitors. 

As reputation management consultants, Newlink has come up with a perception-balancing strategy for the U.S. and Canadian markets that aims to safeguard Acapulco’s image and influence potential tourists.

OBJECTIVES

  • Protect Acapulco’s reputation, lending perspective to criminal incidents and events that impact the reputation of this destination and its government.
  • Reposition Acapulco as a place that is currently evolving as a tourist destination and is attractive to all kinds of visitors.
  • Highlight existing investment as a sign of confidence in Acapulco.
  • Emphasize the different means of reaching this destination, including cruise liners and airlines.

OBSTACLES

  • A perception of this destination as run-down and stagnant.
  • Five straight years of negative international coverage that make it difficult for positive stories to be covered.
  • Lack of continuity in efforts to promote the city internationally.
  • Travel alerts by the U.S. and Canada, which recommend that government personnel and tourists, respectively, not travel to Acapulco.
  • Cancelation of cruise ship arrivals in 2017.

Solution

Newlink has orchestrated a communications campaign for the Tourism Promotion Trust of Acapulco to raise public awareness about the reality of the tourist experience in that destination, including:

  • Work with the media and influencers to disseminate positive news, highlighting investments and new attractions.
  • Media trips that provide a different perspective.
  • Support for participation in industry events.
  • Maximization of user-generated content on social media.
  • Collaboration with industry executives.

Meeting at Norwegian Cruise Line´s headquarters in Miami, Florida.


Transformation

Two consecutive years of sustained effort, relationship-building in the sector, and high-impact actions proved successful in maintaining connectivity by air and via cruise ship to the port and in balancing out the perception of Acapulco as a tourist destination. We provided the momentum that is now being seen in investments, infrastructure modernization, new attractions, and the construction of world-class hotels. Public relations have been a useful tool for generating articles with a neutral or positive perspective.

Newlink also has a served as a liaison with the cruise industry – particularly Norwegian Cruise Line and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association – to maintain open communication about infrastructure advances, product improvements, and the ways that tourist destination protects citizens and visitors, including special operations during cruise calls involving multiple law-enforcement agencies. The company coordinated visits to Acapulco by representatives of cruise ship companies such as NCL, helping ensure a continuation of their operations in Acapulco and the building of solid partnerships with the port.

The Newlink-promoted repositioning of Acapulco has had a major impact on the industry. In 2016, that tourist destination reported one of its most successful winter seasons in recent years, with a 95% hotel occupancy rate. Likewise, the hotel occupancy rate on January 1, 2017, was the highest in the past eight years, while tourist numbers during Easter Week exceeded those of 2016.

The Team

The team working on this account, keenly aware of Acapulco’s advantages and challenges, has spent more than three years promoting this destination and is constantly seeking ways to change the U.S. media’s perception of the city.

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