During the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s 2014 Marketplace Conference, MasterCard highlighted the importance of betting on the affluent segment in order to boost tourism spend in the Caribbean.

In order to promote good practices within the tourism industry, MasterCard made ​​a presentation at the 2014 Caribbean Travel Marketplace Conference about the important role that the affluent segment has in boosting tourism expenditure worldwide. The presentation was given by Deanna Canedo, Vice President of Acceptance for MasterCard’s GeoCentral division, who provided useful recommendations for merchants within the tourism industry about the affluent segment’s consumption patterns.

“While this segment represents only 6% of consumers worldwide, these consumers represent a priority to our business due to their high of purchasing power, which accounts for 29% of consumption (PCE),” stated Canedo. The executive also pointed out that MasterCard studies indicate that cardholders from this sector are more likely to travel abroad, dedicating 20% of their time to visit top destinations around the world, and that they also have specific functional needs and motivations. According to Canedo, affluent consumers are driven by new and unique experiences, both where they live as in the destinations that they visit. As a result, the company has identified six key passion points through which it provides added value to its cardholders: dining, shopping, sports, travel, music, and culture.

Canedo recommended businesses in the Caribbean to capitalize on these findings in order to strengthen their value proposition to tourists. “Providing a unique or exclusive experience is an ideal way for them to make a memorable impression, especially among affluent consumers, who tend to spend more than usual.”

With this in mind, MasterCard has created a global platform called Priceless Cities, which has been launched in the top tourism destinations around the world and that – through partnerships with merchants within the tourism industry – provides cardholders with unique experiences and special offers in order to enhance their vacations. The program currently has over 300 participating merchants in six of the Caribbean’s top destinations, including Jamaica, Aruba, Puerto Rico, Punta Cana, Santo Domingo and the Bahamas.

“The goal of Priceless Cities is to promote these cities as destinations and contribute to strengthening the tourism industry. This is part of MasterCard’s value proposition not only for consumers, but also for merchants, who are able to differentiate themselves, provide added value, and ultimately boost sales through the benefits offered by the program,” added Canedo.  


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 Press Contacts: Michelle Muslera, Michelle_muslera@mastercard.com  (305)-810-1468