Managing a Caribbean travel blog is one of my favourite hobbies and something that I thoroughly enjoy doing. I love to research the Caribbean, create authentic content and source amazing images to accompany articles. This is my way of contributing to Caribbean tourism and showing the world why this region is the best destination for vacations, baecations, solocations, familycations and staycations.
However, because I work full time in a traditional 9-5 job, and I have limited vacation days; I spend lots of time researching my articles. Unlike other full-time travel bloggers who visit the Caribbean via self-financed or sponsored trips; I am a research-focused travel blogger, who scours literature (including books, blogs and videos) to create authentic articles.
How to Effectively Research the Caribbean
Getting information about the Caribbean, is extremely simple, but it can be time consuming. Thankfully, there are several information sources that I use to gather information and to confirm that the information is true. Providing factual information about the region is very important because it ensures reliability and validity of the Endless Caribbean blog and the destinations that are featured.
I currently collect my information from Caribbean blogs and websites, both Caribbean based and international; social media posts that provide helpful write-ups that compliment images; videos on You Tube that showcase interesting Caribbean experiences; Caribbean travel and tourism books that I used for independent research; Caribbean tourism authorities online libraries and websites; and publications by Caribbean governments on the Caribbean tourism sector.
Caribbean Blogs and Websites
There are several blogs and websites that contain travel news and suggestions about the Caribbean. My preference is to find details that I can expand on and create a new focus for information that has been shared already. Caribbean based travel blogs are very valuable because their writers live in the Caribbean and have a greater sense of the ins and outs of their individual country. Additionally, Caribbean blogs written by out of region bloggers, are also useful.
Social Media Posts
Social media has become a necessary component of blogging that provides instant access to the Caribbean. Through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, I can access current Caribbean travel material that is updated very frequently. Seasoned bloggers and influencers will often include information-rich write-ups about their photos. These concise, yet enlightening pieces are often written from the blogger’s personal point of view which is inspired by their experience. These types of captions provide an honest review of the destination, its events and attractions.
Destination videos are a visual accompaniment that benefits the Caribbean tourism industry immensely. Videos are a convenient way to preview the Caribbean without leaving your bed. They will allow you to see interesting features about the desired destination and help visitors to create personalised itineraries. You Tube and Vimeo are some of the popular platforms used by Caribbean travel specialists to showcase their tourism businesses and experiences. Some destination tourism agencies also include videos on their websites, blogs and social media.
Caribbean Travel and Tourism Literature
As an avid reader, reading books about Caribbean travel and tourism is an activity that I enjoy. My love for reading compliments my passion for research and expression via writing. This is beneficial to Endless Caribbean and has resulted in independent research papers on topics related to Caribbean tourism. One of my most memorable publications was an academic paper on how the regional airline LIAT, could improve its operations and thus achieve profitability. Several Caribbean authors have written extensively about Caribbean tourism and this has provided excellent reference material for my research and writing.
Caribbean Tourism Authorities
I’ve realised that the Caribbean tourism authorities are extremely valuable to the tourism product that is created for the world to enjoy. The individual destinations’ tourism authorities have a wealth of material that is easy to access and free to share. These associations also work in tandem with local tourism partners and umbrella bodies such as the Caribbean Tourism Organisation and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. Many of them have updated websites and are very active on social media.
Caribbean Governments Publications
Many Caribbean governments, through their individual ministries, publish pertinent data about tourism in their countries. Reports may include statistics on arrivals and departures; niche tourism markets that the country is targeting; performance reviews on the sector; strategic plans for improving the current tourism product; consultations with other ministries that have an impact on the tourism sector (for e.g. agriculture, international business, trade, health and education) and workshop and seminar documents on developments in and concerns about the sector.
Visit the Caribbean
One method that I have not used extensively to research the Caribbean is to visit the destinations. I have several islands shortlisted to visit in the near future and this will be my opportunity to see the islands that I write about. Although I want to see some of the popular attractions, I also want to visit the beautiful areas that no one ever talks about. I want to experience some of the events that make the Caribbean what it is. One of my goals is to immerse myself in the culture of the Caribbean, so that I can feel the essence of the region that may not be adequately captured in words, images or videos.