Niche Product Roadmap for Aruba

One of the core development priorities of the Aruba Tourism Authority’s Cu Mira Pa Futuro Destination Development Plan 2017-2021 was to increase the economic value of Aruba’s tourism by developing Aruba’s niche product offer to meet market demand. This needed to be done in the context of increasing the quality of the experience visitors have on the island and the need to foster innovation and entrepreneurship amongst stakeholders.

The Brief

The demographic of Aruba’s current visitor market is ageing. In 2017 visitors in their 50s were the largest age group and the over 70s showed greatest growth. By contrast, the number of 20-39-year-old Millennials visiting Aruba was declining. The importance of attracting these younger visitors to sustain Aruba’s tourist industry in the future was well recognised. 

Acorn Tourism was asked to assess the potential demand for niche tourism activities in Aruba and identify the most suitable products to be developed to match that demand. The emphasis was on attracting new market segments to Aruba, primarily younger Millennial visitors and increasing visitor spend, by developing and promoting niche products. The aim was also to convert cruise passengers to stay-over visitors. 

Our Solution

The consultancy involved assessing the potential to develop 12 niche tourism products: land-based Adventure Tourism activities, Birding, Culinary Tourism, Family Tourism, Golf Tourism, Medical Tourism, MICE, Nautical Tourism: diving, wind surfing, kite surfing, yachting; Romance Tourism: honeymoons, weddings and Wellness Tourism. 

To establish which niche products had the greatest potential to drive higher spending visitors we undertook an analysis of Aruba’s existing tourism statistics and product data and produced a niche market report for each of the priority niches. 

To ensure we had a full understanding of Aruba’s existing products, we interviewed tourism businesses and stakeholders across the island. We also need to know how Aruba could create

a distinctive offer and could be positioned effectively against other Caribbean destinations. Acorn therefore reviewed the niche products that were being promoted by other Caribbean destinations, analyzing their current online marketing materials and the themes covered by travel bloggers for each destination. Following in-depth analysis of the desk research, stakeholder engagement and competitor offer, we prioritised the niches that we felt had the most opportunity for development in the short, medium and long term.  

Outcome

The recommendations for the niche products that offer the greatest potential to deliver socio-economic benefit to Aruba were presented in a pragmatic report, that provided a Roadmap for developing the priority products. This product development plan answered the questions: 

  • Who should Aruba target (based in the market analysis)?
  • What Aruba can offer (based on the product analysis)?
  • How Aruba can stand out (based on the competitor analysis)?
  • Which products will bring Aruba greatest socio-economic benefit (ie, the priority products for development)?
  • How Aruba can achieve these objectives ie Product Development Action Plan for the short, medium and long term?

 

Acorn Tourism Consulting Ltd has successfully completed this assignment within the specified timeframe and within the proposed budget. The study is currently being used by the A.T.A. and is shaping long-term developments for the destination.