Case Studies


Travel Writer Familiarization Program

Niche Marketing

Kosrae, a small, unspoiled and little-known island in Micronesia, wanted to increase its profile among travelers and travel professionals and ultimately, its visitor arrivals. The Kosrae Visitors Bureau turned to Placemaking Group for help in recruiting a select group of travel writers to visit the island and write stories about the island’s amazing natural beauty, both undersea and on land.

We honed in on Kosrae’s unique charms — amazing diving, rich native culture, ancient ruins, true eco-travel — and also its obvious realities (a 17-hour trip from Los Angeles) — to vett the writers for the individual familiarization trips.

Our goal was to see ink in dive, eco-travel and lifestyle magazines. We worked with Continental Airlines to arrange for air travel and consulted with island residents and hotel owners to ensure that we were in sync with our messages and to gather information about each writer’s specific area of interest.


The careful selection of the right travel journalists, and working closely throughout the process with writers and islanders, has yielded a plethora of results.  Just two years into the program, stories on Kosrae have appeared in:

  • Islands magazine
  • Sport Diver
  • NY Post
  • LA Times
  • SF Chronicle
  • Dive New Zealand
  • Jerusalem Post
  • Calgary Herald (which syndicated the story across Canada)
  • Traveler Overseas
  • Globe Trekker
  • Lakes Magazine