How Thatch Caye Resort increased social media followers and direct website visitors month over month.
Thatch Caye Resort is a 15 room all-inclusive hotel on a private island off the coast of Belize. It became the first hotel in the Muy’Ono Resorts portfolio back in 2015. Muy’Ono Resorts is now the largest collection of resorts in Belize, offering private island, beach, and jungle accommodations to guests from all over the world.
When Thatch Caye Resort became part of the Muy’Ono Resorts portfolio in 2015, it had been closed for over 9 months. The property was in rough shape, past guests had lost interest and trust in the hotel, and there were no reservations on the books.
The hotel had previously been a no-frills island escape with unique accommodations lacking basic amenities and a campground for kayakers. It’s located about 30 minutes by boat from the closest town, Dangriga.
The new management had intentions of improving the accommodations and experience. The new product would be targeted at different buyer personas than before, but it would keep the same name.
Delicious Digital Marketing worked hand-in-hand with Muy’Ono Resorts management team to improve the resort. This meant developing an elevated brand identity and a whole lot of on-property renovation. Immediately, Delicious Digital knew this was a special place. The overwater bungalows were bucket list-level accommodations hard to find in this part of the world.
To be completely honest, our first thought was “Wow, this place is instagrammable”.
In 2015, Instagram was quickly becoming a top channel used to evaluate travel destinations. More often than not, potential guests were looking at Instagram profiles before choosing where to stay on vacation.
As the resort was finishing renovations, we did a property visit and highlighted a few opportunity areas to improve to truly make it picture-perfect.
In no time, we had sent out a photography and videography team to capture the beautiful new hotel. We built a brand new website showcasing the new offerings, increased distribution channels so customers could book from whichever platform they preferred, and started inviting out travel bloggers (known now as influencers) to increase brand awareness.
While we had an amazing product to sell, we knew there were still some obstacles. The hotel was fairly difficult to get to, with most guests having to take multiple planes and a boat to arrive. The hotel also only had 12 total rooms, so it was important we attracted the right type of guest. This wasn’t an experience for everyone, this was a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
Influencers were an excellent way to get our message across. They were able to provide the necessary educational component in a very natural way and reach the right potential guests. We worked closely with each influencer prior to their visit, introducing them to the on-site managers and sharing the story we wanted them to tell.
With beautiful imagery and cool stories, the Instagram account for @thethatchcaye started to really take off. It didn’t take long for UGC to start piling up (we loved those repost apps!). To this day, Thatch Caye still has the highest follower count of any hotel in the Muy’Ono Resorts portfolio, even though it is one of the smallest.
Social media wasn’t the only place we were noticing large increases in traffic. Website visitors skyrocketed. Thatch Caye’s direct website had a 5x increase in visitors month over month. We then implemented our first paid social strategy and within 90 days, daily sales had doubled.
As social media has shifted over the years, Thatch Caye has continued to thrive in those spaces. While our marketing mix has a lot more to it these days, social media is still arguably our most important channel.
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