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Castaways Resort and Spa - Mission Beach Post Covid Recovery

Castaways Resort and Spa is a stunning beachfront resort located in Mission Beach in Tropical North Queensland. With the Great Barrier Reef on its door step and the Family Group of islands beckoning close offshore, it is a resort that is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Overtime, Castaways had developed a very strong positioning in the International tourism market which, when the borders closed at the end of March 2020, made it extremely exposed to a dramatic fall in occupanices and general trading. The property closed in April of 2020 and went into hibernation. We spoke to Castaways in mid-April to begin planning for their reemergence from COVID-19 restrictions and this is the journey we took them on and what they did to realign their product...

Segmenting the Market 

At our first meeting with Castaways, we developed a little bit of "crystal balling" on how we thought the market were going to open up as restrictions lifted. We determined that:

  • The first market to open up would be the local Cairns and Townsville market with a potential radius of 250km, sometime in May of 2020.
  • Next would be a wider intra state Queensland market sometime in June 2020
  • Interstate would be would be in July of 2020
  • International would not be present for sometime to come

Curating the Offer 

Once we determined the audiences we had to talk to, we then set about curating the offers to each of these markets, remembering that these had not been a major priority for the property prior to COVID. We decided that: 

  • The local market needed to be a very sharp price point. Given the economic conditions in the region, peoples disposable income would be limited, so we needed to make this attractive.
  • Most people in the local market would only have 1 to 2 nights to spend away, so we could not impose a minimum night stay.
  • For the intra/inter state market we knew that a longer stay was possible
  • We also thought that these markets would be more engaged with a more complete destination experience, so therefore the offer we designed was relective of that
  • At the same time we did not want to switch off from the international market, so we kept in regular contact through digital and virtual platforms

The Results

While commercial confidentiality prevents from detailing the exact results, it is fair to say that this activity in conjunction with the property generated signficant results and allowed the resort to open and stay open with a great deal of confidence. For Pinnacle, it was a classic case of having to realign a product and then curate different messages and offers, using different platforms and channels to meet the market. Some examples are listed below:

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