St. Helena’s new airport was constructed to open up the island to a wider range of visitors than it was previously possible to attract via the five-day journey by ship from Cape Town. In order to provide a significant boost to the Island’s economy, a step change in tourism visitor expenditure was expected following the opening of the airport. Appropriate branding and marketing was required to achieve this.
There was limited understanding about branding and marketing on St. Helena, and with its emergence as a more significant player in the tourism sector, greater appreciation of its importance was required.
Therefore the study carried out workshops with stakeholder groups to explain the branding process, and where St. Helena Tourism was positioned in terms of branding the Island and its international marketing. Workshops covering the basic principles of marketing to help businesses to more effectively connect with consumers were also conducted.
In addition, a comprehensive review the marketing strategy was undertaken to determine its relevance for the markets it was aimed at. This was followed by a branding study and development of a branding pyramid to build up the brand logically from an assessment of the destination’s main strengths to a distillation of its essence.
Since the opening of the airport, St Helena has engaged with the global tourism markets with fresh branding and marketing campaigns in both digital and printed media, which has made it a internationally recognised brand. Visitor numbers are growing, and investment is increasing, with additional bed spaces and tourist operators on the Island.