ORANJESTAD, Aruba – While today’s tech-savvy traveler may rely on Instagram, Facebook or even Periscope to document their epic moments during and after a vacation, Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) has launched a new interactive experience allowing visitors to share their perfect Aruba vacation before ever stepping foot on the popular Caribbean island.
“The Happiness Builder is a content-rich planning experience where travelers can explore nearly 100 videos featuring adventure, relaxation, romance and cultural activities in Aruba,” said Michael Beaujon, Digital Marketing Manager of ATA. “Simply pick your six favorite clips, add some happy music, personalize a message and share your own ‘Shortcut to Happiness’ video itinerary with friends and loved ones.”
While the videos and customization features appeal on the consumer level, travel industry leaders also appreciate the Happiness Builder for its function as a dynamic, fully-immersive layer to the planning process – differentiating Aruba from other destinations and ATA from other Destination Marketing and Management Organizations (DMMOs).
Lee Abbamonte, a travel expert and the youngest American to visit every country, defines his “Shortcut to Happiness” as a combination of adrenaline-inducing activities, from ATVing through the rugged and wild Arikok National Park to catching trade wind breezes during a windsurfing outing, all topped off with a relaxing beachfront dinner.
ATA explains the Happiness Builder – unlike traditional photo or video web tools – allows visitors to begin their vacations early and enjoy the planning process almost as much as their time on island.
The Happiness Builder is also key in attracting new visitors who will venture beyond the beaches and explore all the destination’s signature offerings. This directly benefits Aruba’s economy, which is tourism-centric according to The World Tourism Council (WTTC) – the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism.
“The WTTC reports Aruba’s GDP is more reliant on travel and tourism than any other nation, relative to size, in the world. As such, the ATA chooses the most creative, digital-savvy thought-leaders to inspire consumers to visit and fully experience our island,” said Ronella Tjin-Asjoe Croes, CEO of ATA. “Our target audience visits more than 20 websites before booking their vacation, so it is essential for us to maintain a presence throughout that process with a timely, persuasive message at each stage. By engaging the best strategists and leveraging targeted technologies, we can ensure our marketing dollars are spent effectively against desired consumers in-market for vacation travel.”
Tjin-Asjoe Croes continues, “More than a year in the making, The Happiness Builder is the latest manifestation of our team’s commitment to being the most innovative DMMO in the Caribbean.”
ATA’s previous marketing efforts have been awarded by world-renowned industry experts, including: Effie Worldwide for “Marketing Effectiveness,” National Geographic Travel for “World Legacy in Destination Leadership” and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) for tech-savvy, millennial market saturation.
As Aruba continues to evolve from both a product and marketing perspective, new and innovative tools like the Happiness Builder remain crucial to Aruba’s success as one of the most popular tourist destinations.
“Our small, happy island made history last year with more than 1 million stay-over visitors, surpassing the previous year’s record of 979,256 visitors,” said Otmar Oduber, Aruba’s Minister of Tourism, Transportation, Primary Sector and Culture. “We expect the Happiness Builder will only increase enthusiasm toward visiting Aruba, and challenge everyone to fully engage with this tool when planning their dream vacation.”