Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Haiti doesn't have a marketing problem

Talk about a tough challenge.

After multiple national disasters, being a hot spot for the global AIDS epidemic, rampant disease caused by insufficient sanitary systems, several corrupt governments, Haiti wants you to come visit.

That's right, while driving last night I heard this story on NPR in which Haiti's Tourism Minister explains the virtues of her country for vacationers.

I have no doubt that Haiti is a beautiful island. I have no doubt that the weather can be amazing. I have no doubt that the island has a rich cultural heritage and important historical monuments.

What I do doubt is how safe it is to visit.

Now, I'm not averse to risking a little danger for the sake of entertainment. I spent more than a few evenings of my young adult life in clubs below 8-Mile. But I'm guessing, most tourists would prefer a destination where their chances of being kidnapped or killed are just a bit lower.

Haiti has a lot of things to recommend it, but I'm guessing until they fix the roads, add some hotel rooms, improve the sanitary conditions and can guarantee the safety of those who visit, no amount of marketing will suddenly have people flocking to the island.

What Haiti is about to find out is what most marketers already know: the most important thing you can do to improve your marketing is to get the product right.

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