Latest tourism campaign lagging at halfway mark

The tourism institute’s $3.3 million year-long promotional scheme is at the halfway mark, and an evaluation of the key Web sites shows that the campaign is not very popular in its target markets.

This is the “Save the Americans” or “Save the Canadians” campaigns that target those two countries. The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo introduced the campaign in mid-December. The Atlanta, Georgia, firm 22squared was again hired to execute it.

The pitch was to tell Americans and Canadians that they are not using enough of their vacation time and that they need a trip to Costa Rica. The campaign is Web based with a lot of use of social media.

However, a check of the Alexa Web rating company, an affiliate, shows the Web pages are not doing too well. Web site has a world rank of  1,079,870 and a U.S. rank of 410,394.

The average number of  page views per visitor is just 1.4, and the average time on site is 2:32 minutes. has a world rank of 6,207,034 and an unspecified Canadian rank. “We do not have enough data to estimate these metrics,” says Alexa.  Page views per visitor are 1.3, and the average time on site is 1:35 minutes, according to Alexa.

President Luis Guillermo Solís briefly mentions the 22squared campaign favorably when he spoke to tourism professionals Wednesday night.

Alexa gets its numbers from Internet users who have a special toolbar installed.

Says the company:

“Alexa’s Traffic Ranks are based on the traffic data provided by users in Alexa’s global data panel over a rolling 3-month period. Traffic Ranks are updated daily. A site’s ranking is based on a combined measure of unique visitors and page views. Unique visitors are determined by the number of unique Alexa users who visit a site on a given day. Page views are the total number of Alexa user URL requests for a site. However, multiple requests for the same URL on the same day by the same user are counted as a single Page view. The site with the highest combination of unique visitors and page  views is ranked #1. Additionally, we employ data normalization to correct for biases that may occur in our data.”

The company considers its data a rough estimate of a site’s popularity.

There are internal codes that can calculate visitors to the site exactly, but that information is held by 22square and, perhaps the tourism institute.

By contrast, the tourism institute’s own Web page,, has a world rank of 188,589, according to Alexa. The U.S. rank is 75,745, far higher than the sites created by the Atlanta advertising agency.

La Nación, the Spanish language daily, has a world rank of 9,485 and a U.S. rank of 21,863, according to data from Alexa Thursday night.

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